This morning the Legislative Analyst’s Office offered its analysis of the governor’s revised spending plan, and it didn’t disappoint. First, the analysts said the administration’s projection of a $21 billion seems pretty spot-on. But the governor’s plan to borrow $6 billion? That’s “terrible precedent and poor fiscal policy,” the report said. And “it presents serious legal concerns.”
(The governor must have been reading. He just sent out a press release saying he’d drop the borrowing idea in favor of more cuts.)
To paraphrase the LAO: It’s time for the governor and the Legislature to get real and get busy whacking some serious costs. Then the analysts provided a helpful appendix of programs that could be trimmed or axed all together.
Here’s a list of some in the judicial branch and the attorney general’s office. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the sacred cows mooing over the Internet:
- Eliminate the Underground Economy Program, a favorite of Attorney General Jerry Brown, for a savings of $600,000.
- Reduce funding for the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement in the Department of Justice ($20 million).
- Replace court reporters with electronic recording devices ($45 million over two years).
- Use competitive bidding to select court security forces ($60 million over two years – How fast can you say “Not gonna happen”?)
- Siphon $550 million from the judiciary’s treasured courthouse construction fund into the state general fund over the next two years.
- Repeal the statute giving judges’ automatic cost of living increases. ($500,000 a year)
Two other ideas floated: furlough state workers for a third day a month and eliminate the Office of Administrative Law.
— Cheryl Miller
Follow me on Twitter