California Budget Update

CALIFORNIA BUDGET UPDATE….Speaking of the California budget….

Last night we had a super-special Sunday meeting of the legislature so that the Republicans could introduce their plan to close the budget gap without raising taxes. You see, they’ve been fighting their rear-guard battle against Gray Davis for months now without actually having a budget plan of their own to put to a vote, but last night they finally did. So what kind of cuts were in their plan? According to the LA Times:

The Republican plan would cut all state funding for abortions….

At that point I just laughed. Of course it would. What else did I expect? Then:

It would do away with the Seismic Safety Commission, whose role is to protect the public from earthquake hazards. And it would reduce by 60% the budget for the California Youth Authority, the agency responsible for disciplining youthful offenders.

Other cuts included eliminating health care clinics for American Indians (saving $6.5 million); withholding the $50 monthly payment to poor, blind men and women to help feed their seeing-eye dogs; doing away with medical evaluation of low-income children ($51 million); and ending a program that pays for the burial of foster children.

They’re proposing to eliminate dog food for blind people? I can see the TV ads already.

What makes this even more puzzling is that surely all this stuff can’t add up to more than few hundred million dollars, compared to a budget gap of about $10 billion (I think). It sure would be nice if someone had a nice website somewhere comparing the various plans and showing what cuts and what tax increases had been proposed by the various sides. Does anybody know of one?

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