California’s deficit balloons to $14.8 Billion
December 10, 2008
• Governor blasts Legislature for lack of action
• ‘’They’ve got to take this seriously rather than play chicken’
California’s budget crisis has gotten worse while the Legislature has dithered and taken time off, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says.
The state will now be $14.8 billion in the red by the end of the fiscal year in June if nothing is done, the governor says.
The number is new. The last estimate had the red ink measured at $11.2 billion.
“No one should leave town,” the governor says of the Legislature, now in special session but with few lawmakers actually in Sacramento. “I urge the Legislature to solve this financial crisis immediately.”
Mr. Schwarzenegger says lack of action by the lawmakers, who set spending and taxation levels is making the fiscal crisis worse by the day.
“I’m frustrated,” he says. “I cannot make them stay here. I cannot lock them into the building. I do not have those kinds of powers.”
Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, says one problem is the refusal by Republicans to engage in meaningful debate with Democrats over how to solve the shortfall. He says Republicans have been “very vague” about what they might want in order to reach a compromise.
“They’ve got to take this seriously rather than play chicken,” the governor says of the state’s lawmakers. “It’s the people’s money that they’re playing with. Now is the time to negotiate and come together and solve our financial crisis.”