California is by no means alone in its fiscal calamity.
At least 48 states have addressed or still face shortfalls totaling $190 billion in their 2010 fiscal years, a figure representing 28 percent of all state budgets, according to a November 19 report by the Washington D.C. based Center on Budget Policies and Priorities.    Read more »
Sacramento lobbyists received the following e-mail invitation November 24:
I would like to invite you to join me for a briefing on Wednesday, December 2nd.
I would like to discuss with you a pending matter and answer any of your questions and enlist your support.
I know this message may seem a bit cryptic but I beg your indulgence and ask that you join me for a light lunch at noon on Wednesday December 2nd at:
California Cable and Telecommunications Association Office?1001 K Street, 2nd Floor, Sacramento.    Read more »
Cathy Hackett is, according to the flyer sent by Service Employees International Union and other unions representing public employees is “a tough-minded independent leader” and a “successful advocate for our retirement and health care.”
On her website, her biography notes that from 1984 until 2009 she has been a budget analysts (sic) with Caltrans and a union steward from 1983 until the present.    Read more »
Largely overlooked among the angst and rhetoric over the general fund’s stark $21 billion budget gap is the fast-growing deficit in the state’s insolvent Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
In an October fund forecast, the state Employment Development Department predicted the fund would end the 2009 calendar year $7.4 billion in the hole.    Read more »
California’s unemployment rate increased from 12.3 percent to 12.5 percent in October, the state Employment Development Department said November 20.
The national unemployment rate also increased in October to 10.2 percent.
In October 2008, California’s unemployment rate was 8 percent.
While the unemployment rate rose, the state reported 25,700 non-farm jobs added.    Read more »
“I’ve been a little disappointed lately with some in the business community who have forgotten that feeding more dollars to government is like feeding a stray pup. It just follows you home and sits on your doorstep asking for more.”
— Ronald Reagan    Read more »
The first term of California’s next governor will be a fiscal nightmare with a cumulative budget shortfall over four years of nearly $83 billion, according to the fiscal forecast released November 18 by the Legislative Analyst.
During his last year in office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic majority Legislature face a $21 billion gap between revenues and spending commitments, a problem whose solution is made more difficult by the political timidness that usually marks election years.    Read more »
According to the State Archives:
At 65,000 words, California’s current constitution is one of the longest in the world.
One reason is that the constitution has been amended 503 times from 1880 to 2000.
By contrast, the state’s first constitution — approved by the delegates of California’s first constitutional convention on October 13, 1849 after 37 days of debate in Monterey — was amended only three times in 30 years: 1856, 1862 and 1871.    Read more »
(Editor’s Note: At a meeting with the Fresno Bee editorial board on November 9, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the state will end the current fiscal year, which concludes June 30, 2010, between $5 billion and $7 billion out-of-balance. The GOP governor’s Department of Finance, based on July revenue estimates, predicts the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010 already has a $7.4 billion gap between revenue and spending commitments.    Read more »
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