Schwarzenegger: “It doesn’t have to be exactly my budget, but it has to be within this perimeter of not going out borrowing, because we can’t – we’re not allowed under Proposition 58 – and also not to raise taxes because we did that last year.”
The governor made his comments to reporters Tuesday afternoon. He says a plan by Assembly Democrats to borrow millions from Wall Street against future recycling fund revenues is illegal. And he says he won’t sign a budget unless it comes with an overhaul to the state’s pension system.
California faces a $19 billion deficit. Schwarzenegger says every day the budget is late beyond July 1st, the state will lose more than $50 million.
Meantime, State Controller John Chiang says he’ll have to start delaying payments to schools and local governments sometime in July unless there’s a budget deal.
Governor Dodges on Extending Furloughs if No Budget
State worker furloughs are scheduled to wrap up June 30th under Governor Schwarzenegger’s latest budget proposal. But when asked by reporters Tuesday, the governor wouldn’t say whether he’d extend them if he and lawmakers don’t agree to a spending plan by then.
Schwarzenegger: “Well, you know, I don’t go by if’s right now, because I expect to have a budget in July.”
Still, his press secretary, Aaron McLear, is keeping the door open …
McLear: “Right now, the governor’s proposal is to end the furloughs at the end of the fiscal year, which is the end of this month, so we still have a couple of weeks. But if we don’t have a budget, the governor certainly has the authority to furlough in case of a fiscal emergency.”
McLear says the state saves about half a billion dollars a year for each of the three current furlough days every month. But since the Sacramento region has such a high number of state workers, the furloughs have hurt the local economy – especially downtown businesses.