Speaker Bass announces Assembly cuts
Operating budget to be reduced
Sacramento, CA – Recognizing there must be shared sacrifice in these tough economic times, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Rules Committee Chair Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) yesterday announced a 10% cut to the Assembly’s operating budget.
“At a time when Californians and other state agencies are tightening their belts, I have directed the Assembly’s Chief Administrative Officer to reduce the Assembly’s operating budget by 10%,” Bass said. “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.”
The announcement by Bass and Lieu brings to $22.6 million the operating cuts the Assembly has made in the last 18 months. During the second half of the last fiscal year, the Assembly transferred $7.6 million to provide funding to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the California State University System and the Department of Parks and Recreation, representing a 10% cut in the operations budget for half of the year.
“The Assembly unilaterally cut 10% from its operating budget six months ago and will again cut 10% this year,” Lieu said. “During these difficult economic times, spending reductions must be shared by everyone.”
Speaker Bass also announced that 14 positions in the Speaker’s office have been cut in the last 6 months through attrition and layoffs, with a cost savings of $1.5 million.
The Assembly belt tightening is part of its ongoing response to the state’s fiscal crisis. On Friday, Speaker Bass and President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) announced legislation to aid unemployed Californians and help California draw down $900 million in federal funds.
Earlier in the week the legislature sent to the governor an $18 billion package of budget solutions that would have avoided the looming cash crisis, solved the budget deficit by almost half, and created 367,000 new jobs for Californians.
Sacramento, CA -- People who want to let the legislature know about what budget cuts should or should not be made, will need to submit their comments within the next week because, according to Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, decisions about how to close a $21.3 billion gap will be made swiftly.
“Closing a $21 billion deficit is gong to be extremely challenging and down right frightening,” said the Speaker. “The governor is proposing elimination of a number of programs, that in my opinion are vital for those most vulnerable.”
“This money is so dirty it had to be laundered five times—and it still stinks.” —Gov. Jerry Brown
There is lots of buzz about our nation’s “economic recovery” in these first weeks of 2013. The stock market has been rising, some would say even soaring. We postponed the fiscal cliff crisis, albeit only for a few weeks—March is the new deadline.
Even under the best circumstances African American students often have challenges resulting in lower graduation rates and test scores than their White counterparts. When you factor in a child in the foster care system, in particular an African American child, the statistics become even worse.
Discussions of the fiscal cliff also include discussions about ways to change Social Security and Medicare benefits in order to save money. One of the proposals is to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70.
After all, some argue, there is nothing magic about 65 or 67, so why not push the rate up to 70?
The difference is the kind of work we do. I can’t imagine that I will ever stop talking and writing, advanced age notwithstanding.