2008 Budget Agenda
Every year, the Governor proposes a state budget plan by January 10 and a revised budget in mid-May. This year’s budget proposals have been especially painful. On September 23, the Governor signed the 2008 Budget Act, bringing an end to the state’s longest-ever budget impasse. Since then the national economy has been in turmoil, and California has been particularly affected by the rising unemployment, crashing housing market and decrease in consumer spending. As a result, California is now facing an $11.2 billion budget shortfall in the current year, and the Governor has called for a special session to address the problem. If no action is taken on the current budget, the state is expected to run out of cash in February 2009. To reconcile the budget, Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a mixture of spending cuts, tax hikes and borrowing.
The $4.5 billion in cuts offered by the Governor impact everybody, and they come on the heels of more than $11 billion that was already cut when the budget was signed in September. The Legislature and the Governor will have to make some very difficult decisions about what the state’s priorities should be. To find out what additional cuts are being proposed in critically important areas such as health care and social services, please download AACRE’s analysis in the right column.