Dems criticize governor

first_imgDemocratic lawmakers Tuesday criticized Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for eyeing a 10percent across-the-board cut in state agency budgets that they believe will disproportionately hurt education and the poor. “Social services are always the largest potential target,” said Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles. “Poor people, and the blind, disabled and seniors, are always the largest potential target.” Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear would not confirm specifics of any draft proposals for dealing with the projected size of next year’s budget deficit that has grown from a few billion dollars to as much as $10 billion due to California’s housing market slump. “It’s no secret the state is facing a shortfall,” McLear said. “So we’re certainly preparing for that. We’re looking at a lot of different scenarios and plans.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The governor is scheduled to present his proposed 2008-09 spending plan to lawmakers in January. The fiscal year begins July 1. Brian Lewis, the executive director for the California Association of School Business Officials, said he believed the possibility of across-the-board cuts extended to education, despite voter-approved school-funding guarantees. “When voters approved Prop. 98,” Lewis said, “they made it clear they no longer wanted education to be subject to the whims of California’s volatile budget.” Schwarzenegger, whose political style includes bold proclamations of plans to solve major problems, declared he would address public-school improvements in 2008. At the same time, the swelling of the state deficit further dimmed hopes for accomplishing goals of reforming health care and solving California’s water woes during ongoing special legislative sessions, lawmakers said. Both would be expensive. Nu ez and Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, also criticized Schwarzenegger for failing to lead an effort to alter the state’s revenue stream, which is disproportionately dependent on income taxes. Staff Writer Harrison Sheppard contributed to this story. [email protected] (916) 447-9302160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more