Peter Grigsby, Office of the Governor
With very little fanfare, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the nearly three-month late state budget.
Usually there’s a grand signing ceremony in the Capitol rotunda. But this year Governor Schwarzenegger sat subdued, with pen in hand at a table near his office to sign the 144 billion dollar plus budget. Local government leaders looked on.
“Being three months late is inexcusable, but let’s sign it because then people can get paid…”
The Governor made 500-million dollars in general fund line-item vetoes. He also cut roughly 200 million in other special funds. He says the money is needed to beef up the state’s reserve.
“It’s painful, it took us several days, and I had to think about it and re-think about it but we needed the money so I just wanted people to understand that the legislators gave us no other choice…”
Among them was a 150 million dollar cut in the senior citizens’ renters’ tax assistance program and millions in reductions to drug and alcohol programs and Cal Works, which helps people move from welfare to work. In a statement Democratic Assembly Speaker Karen Bass called the additional vetoes “mean spirited”.