But in the end, will they have no choice but to give in? Will they just let him fix the problem, then blame the resulting hardship on him to steal the next election?
Schwarzenegger Seeks $1.9 Billion in Budget Cuts
State Aid for Elderly, Mentally Ill Feel Pinch in New Governor's Spending Plan
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Nov. 25) - State aid for the elderly and mentally disabled would be reduced under multibillion-dollar budget cuts proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Education would absorb $160 million in cuts this year and next under the proposal Schwarzenegger presented to legislative leaders Monday. Transportation spending would be cut by $530 million and health and human services by $440 million this fiscal year.
A copy was obtained by The Associated Press. In all, they outline $1.9 billion in cuts for the current fiscal year and another $1.9 billion for fiscal year 2004-2005.
Schwarzenegger took office last week after defeating then-Gov. Gray Davis in a recall election in which Davis' handling of the state's multibillion-dollar budget deficit was a key issue.
The new governor's finance director, Donna Arduin, plans to outline the proposed cuts to the Assembly and Senate budget committees Tuesday, along with details of Schwarzenegger's proposals for a $15 billion borrowing and spending limit package he wants voters to consider in March. Arduin, appointed to the California post earlier this month, is known for cutting billions in social services in Florida as budget director for Gov. Jeb Bush.
The proposals outlined Monday include eliminating state wage assistance to the staff of long-term care facilities to save $46 million; and cutting payments to some doctors under Medi-Cal by a 10 percent, on top of an already approved 5 percent cut, to save nearly $152 million. Medi-Cal is the state's's low-income health insurance plan.
"This is not a centrist, bipartisan view of the world," Democratic Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg told the Los Angeles Times. "This is a radical right view of the world. And if Gov. Schwarzenegger wants to position himself in the direction of saying he wants bipartisanship, this is not a step in that direction."
The proposal would cut some non-medical therapy programs from the Department of Developmental Services, which coordinates services for Californians with developmental disabilities, including music and art therapy.
It would also reduce CalWORKS welfare grants for needy families by 5 percent, and stop a new transitional food stamp program from going into effect.
While Health and human services programs would be cut $440 million in the second half of this fiscal year, when ends June 30, they would absorb $1.163 billion in cuts next year under Schwarzenegger's proposal.
11/25/03 10:35 EST
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