The governor signed a $41 billion budget fix (.pdf) this afternoon and with it he delivered some potentially bad news to the courts and a smackdown to constitutional officers.
The governor’s budget gurus said they now expect to receive roughly $7.8 billion in general fund help from the federal stimulus package. That’s significantly less than the $10 billion the state would need to cancel a $100 million planned cut to the judicial budget.
State bean counters won’t know for sure if the $7.8 billion number holds up until April.
“For now we’re not seeing that ($10 billion) as happening,” Finance Director Mike Genest told reporters this afternoon.
Line item vetoes, after the jump:
Along with this budget signature, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger served up $1.3 billion in additional cuts with his line item veto. Among the victims: the budgets of every constitutional officer, including the attorney general. The elected officials have refused to furlough their employees like other departments in the state have, saying the governor has no authority to tell them what to do. So the governor today whacked each of their spending plans by at least 10 percent.
For the department of justice, that means a loss of $48 million. No reaction yet from Attorney General Jerry Brown, although he has said in the past that his agency was already taking steps to save at least 10 percent through other cost-cutting moves.
Brown can be grateful (for more than one reason, we’re sure) that he’s not the lieutenant governor. Schwarzenegger gutted John Garamendi’s budget by 62 percent.
“The lieutenant governor’s duties are just of a lower priority,” Genest said.
— Cheryl Miller