Assembly's Operating Budget Cut By 10 Percent

State Faces Huge Deficit

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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Assembly's Operating Budget Cut By 10 Percent

Getty Images/David Paul Morris

California's elected leaders are under pressure to make budget changes.

The state Assembly's operating budget will be cut by 10 percent as part of an overall effort to reduce the state's massive deficit, legislative leaders said Tuesday.

The announcement by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and Assembly Rules Committee Chair Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, brings to $22.6 million the operating cuts the Assembly has made in the last 18 months, officials said in a news release.

The state is facing an estimated $42 billion shortfall over the next 18 months. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators have been told by state Controller John Chaing that the state will likely run out of money in February and may have to start issuing IOUs if a solution is not reached.

"This cut to our operating budget will free up approximately $15.1 million that will be transferred to some of the state's most underfunded programs, including fire protection," Bass said in a prepared statement.

"The Assembly unilaterally cut 10 percent from its operating budget six months ago and will again cut 10 percent this year," Lieu added. "During these difficult economic times, spending reductions must be shared by everyone."

Bass also announced that 14 positions in the Speaker's office have been cut in the last six months through attrition and layoffs, with a cost savings of $1.5 million.

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