LAO: Governor's Budget Reasonable...But Risky

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mac Taylor is practically begging lawmakers to take action now. Taylor is the state’s non-partisan legislative analyst.  He says California’s financial situation continues to deteriorate:

“In our November proposal, we used words like dire, and bleak and awful and since that time the problem has gotten a lot worse, so we’re kind of running out of adjectives if anybody has suggestions on that.”

Taylor picked the word colossal to describe the 40 billion dollar problem.  He says overall the Governor’s plan to solve it is a good faith effort.  But he’s worried that it relies too much on Wall Street.  Schwarzenegger’s budget calls for borrowing against the future value of the lottery as well as billions in bonds.  Taylor says he’s also concerned about the legality of another, expensive type of borrowing the Governor wants to include. Taylor is suggesting lawmakers call a special election in April to put budget reform proposals and a tax increase on the ballot.  The State Controller has warned California may have to start issuing I-O-U’s instead of checks next month due to a cash shortage.