Governor Schwarzenegger is demanding $8 billion in federal aid, or else he promises to enact massive cuts to a $21 billion budget deficit. Both Schwarzenegger and Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, are lobbying the Federal Government for billions to plug yet another monolithic state budget gap. The Governor is warning, that absent any significant federal aid, he may be forced to severely cut CalWORKS (the state’s primary welfare program), In-Home Healthcare Services, and two large tax breaks for big corporations. He will also propose an extension to state worker furloughs, amounting to a 14% pay cut, as well as obtaining revenue from an offshore oil drilling platform off the coast of Santa Barbara.
Facing another round of crushing deficits, the Governor and state Legislature will likely adopt a number of desperate financial measures to stop the bleeding. Excessive borrowing and spending, and subpar tax revenue due to high unemployment and a small business collapse have left the golden state with a projected $83 billion shortfall over the next four years.
Couple a severe deficit with an election year, and 2010 may prove to be a very tumultuous year for Californians. The continued economic misery serves as clear cut evidence for the urgent necessity of novel ideas, fresh solutions, and brand new perspectives in Sacramento.