Skip to comments.Courts play referee role in California budget cutting
Posted on 12/28/2009 7:53:29 AM PST by SmithL
During his first year in office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger railed against state lawmakers, calling them "girlie men" and "obstructionists."
As he enters his final year, Schwarzenegger is targeting a different branch of government: judges who "are going absolutely crazy."
The Republican governor openly complains about the judiciary these days for blocking budget decisions and forcing California to find billions of dollars elsewhere. Recent judgments have contributed to the state's $20.7 billion projected deficit.
Courts have ruled that California's attempts to divert transit and redevelopment money are illegal. They have found in some cases that the state cannot furlough workers. They have blocked rate cuts for in-home care workers and Medi-Cal providers.
Beneficiaries of those rulings say courts serve a corrective purpose after lawmakers and Schwarzenegger have resorted to legally suspect methods of balancing the budget.
"Everything that hasn't been nailed down has been cut," said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California. "What's left is the legally questionable stuff."
But Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer defended the state's budget decisions as legally sound.
"I don't think it's an issue of being questionable; I think it's an indication of the budget crisis we've been in since the recession took root," he said. "We've had to propose extremely difficult budget solutions the last two years. Groups that don't like the solutions are willing to go to court to enjoin us from acting on them."
Schwarzenegger suggested in October that when judges make decisions, they should take into account the fact that California is grappling with a historic shortfall.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Extreme RINO governor.
In the end, Schwarty turns out to be no better than Gray-out Davis. Just as Bush set us up for Obambi, I’m afraid Schwartzy is setting us up for Jerry Brown :-( !!!
I’m proud to say I was never foolish enough to vote for the man.
Good to know liberal judges are helping it crash.
Of course, you cannot cut a program completely, or limit the largess to those with citizenship status, or other such thing.
Socialism on a statewide scale designed to socially engineer our choices, does not work. I offer for proof the State of California as “Exhibit A.”
The pension situation...which grows daily...is really their number one problem. When you pay some guy $150k a year as a senior fireman for some town or district...his pension ends up being close to $100k. Frankly, once you start to multiply this one guy by 100,000...then your entire pension fund starts to become an anchor.
I was reading a retirement and hire episode from a university in California from last year. This gal was the chief of security for the university...making around $180k a year...and retired...to collect around $130k off the pension. They hired a temp chief...for twelve months, then rehired the old retired chief (she kept getting paid the $130k pension), and then got her old pension of $180k back. The budget department figured out the entire game (which the Director signed off on)...and it was totally legal. They were paying her almost $310k a year.
I think eventually there will need to be showdown where pensioners, municipal bond holders, and other creditors are all given a “haircut”.
Once the govt. starts spending money on something, there is no shortage of rogue judges who will rule that they have to continue spending on it, even if the govt. has no money. That's why I am concerned about the US congress this year.
U of Cal., which seems to have few scruples about corruption, was BO's top contributor. Goldman Sachs was #2.
Mark my words .. the day is fast approaching where some freakin’ judge will decree .. “out of money??? I rule the state shall raise all taxes by 10%” ...
apologies if I gave any jurist this bright idea ..
Watch More Survivor
Most of the social service, mental health and health programs are federal programs that require a state and local funding match/maintenance of effort from the various general funds. This is how the feds have extended their reach beyond Constitutional limits by buying cooperation from state jurisdiction to implement their programs. The state can say no, but then the federal funding goes away.
This is what the Gov. is talking about. Completely dropping Cal-Works and In Home Support Services programs all together. I don’t think the Courts can prohibit the state from doing that and the feds have no jurisdiction to implement on their own.
The funding I am concerned about is the state grabbing HUTA funding. (They considered that last year.) This is gas tax that goes toward the building and maintenance of county roads. If the state takes that and the feds decide not to reauthorize the Secure Schools and Communities funding, our County will have no budget for roads. When you are a snow county, that can pose a huge problem as that means no snow ploughing in the winter. Everything would come to a standstill and a state of emergency would have to be called.
Meg Whitman, who wants to be CA gov, is cut from the same RINO cloth. No change.