Budget Line-Items: All Politics Are Local
Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, a Democratic candidate for governor, criticized Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s $1.3 billion in line-item vetoes announced at a February 20 budget signing ceremony.
Garamendi has reason to be unhappy – the budget of his office fell from $2.8 million to a little over $1 million.
“I am reducing the Lieutenant Governor’s budget by $1,734,000 to ensure that sufficient resources are reserved for key programs within state government,” Schwarzenegger said in his veto message. “In these tough times, we cannot continue to fund the Office of the Lieutenant Governor at the level provided in recent years.”
Garamendi was polite enough in his press release to first say that his “heart goes out to” the “thousands of hard working, dedicated California citizens will lose there (sic) jobs as a result of the budget.”
He then assures the people of California that “even though the governor has cut my office by 62 percent, I will continue to do the work they elected me to do.”
In signing the austere budget passed by lawmakers at 6:35 a.m. February 19, Schwarzenegger he was making “approximately $1 billion worth of vetoes, line-item vetoes that I will sign later on, mostly coming from prisons and some other areas.”
He rounded down. Over the current budget year and the next the total is $1.3 billion with $400 million in unspecified prison spending reductions.
The governor also decreased capital outlay for transportation projects to help replace the revenue lost by the 12 cent per gallon gas tax increase Democrats jettisoned to win the final GOP vote for the budget.
Garamendi’s fellow Democratic gubernatorial wanna-be, Attorney General Jerry Brown, also got a $48 million hit on the Department of Justice.
“I am reducing this appropriation by 10 percent of the Attorney General’s personal services budget, which reflects the state employee compensation reductions for furloughs, overtime reform, and elimination of two state holidays. I am reducing these funds to ensure equity among all executive branch agencies relative to employee compensation levels,” Schwarzenegger said in his veto.
The state’s other constitutional officers and the Board of Equalization got cut by a like percentage.
Filed under: Budget and Economy
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