The California budget crisis just won't let up. Now Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature have the unenviable task of becoming even more creative in reducing the state's fiscal woes.
What do you do when you're $20 billion in the hole and you need answers by the end of the week?
Gains in state revenues have dried up. Personal and corporate taxes have come up $3.6 billion short of projections. You budgeted for a $6.9 billion shot in the arm from Uncle Sam, but so far he's only coughed up about $3 billion. You also counted on $140 million from coastal oil drilling off the coast -- then a platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and the environmental disaster it created has made the topic of off-shore drilling about as popular as a pork chop at a Kosher wedding. Forget about that coin.
Oh sure, you could raise taxes. Want to commit political suicide? Try raising taxes in an election year. That'll do it.
There are some serious issues that need to be addressed. Tough decisions that could very well impact programs for children, the poor, and the disabled. So many in the state are sure to be affected. We'll have to wait until Friday to find out just who.