Democratic lawmakers and officials:
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg:
We will not pass a budget that eliminates Cal-WORKS. Outright. We will not be party to devastating children and families. Period. It’s not why we came here, it’s not what we believe in. … We need revenue, and we will fight for revenue. But not to prop up this outdated structure. We must use this crisis now — not next year, not another report, not another study. We need to bring government closer to the people. … What it means to the people of California is that we must take many of these programs that otherwise may be decimated and give them to the locals and the school districts, given them restored revenue and the ability to raise revenue themselves. This is not theory, this is not academic, this is not a luxury.
Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny:
This is just a sad budget day. We have a governor who says this reflects his vision and values, and if this reflects the vision and values of government in this state, we are in big trouble. … The governor has clearly chosen, as he said, to sort of throw it to the Legislature; he’s abdicated whatever responsibility he may have had as governor. He’s abdicated responsibility for finding solutions because he refuses to acknowledge his own co-complicity and responsibility for creating a lot of the situation we’re in.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez:
With the release of the May Revise, the Legislature now knows the exact scope of the deficit we must close, and while I cannot say what the exact solution will be, I can say that the process in finding that solution will be open, honest and transparent. The Assembly’s focus is on adopting a budget that promotes job creation and continues to fund the vital services California needs to ensure a strong and lasting economic recovery. The Assembly will not play politics with the budget — and we will specifically not engage in the politics of extraction. The Governor’s suggestions are clearly more reflective of a hyper-partisan political agenda than in finding real solutions to our problems. Putting Californians back to work is the fundamental priority for Californians, and we do not have the luxury of another bruising summer of ideological warfare.
Controller John Chiang:
My latest financial report shows the state will have enough revenues on hand to meet all payment obligations through the end of June, including paying the Revenue Anticipation Notes on time. But for the new fiscal year starting July 1, the governor and Legislature face $19 billion worth of extremely difficult decisions, and I urge them to quickly enact a balanced budget with real solutions so we can avoid the extreme forms of cash management I had to use last year. The Department of Finance has promised to provide my office next week with the data we will need to update our cash flow analyses and determine how to manage the State’s payments through the next fiscal year. I will update the Legislature and the governor on the state’s cash concerns as soon as that analysis is completed.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell:
California is long overdue in creating a stable, consistent funding scheme for K-12 public education. We delay funding allocations to schools; we break commitments to fund class-size reduction, summer school, nurses, counselors, school librarians, and a host of other support systems that play a role in the quality of our children’s education. This failure to provide adequate funding is choking off our state’s economic engine to recovery and our future.
Sen. Leland Yee:
When you propose to lay off teachers, close domestic violence shelters, and take away critical social services and health care, there is no doubt you have a revenue problem. I have opposed and will continue to oppose all budgets that are balanced on the backs of our students, elderly and working poor. We must claw back tax credits for corporations that abandon California, implement an oil severance tax like all other states, and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share. For too long, we have allowed Republicans to keep taxes off the table. Democrats need to stand strong and say draconian cuts to education and other critical services will not be tolerated.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano:
The devastating cuts included in Governor Schwarzenegger’s revised budget proposal released today reflect the absolute disconnect of the Republican Party to the reality facing most Californians. With millions still unemployed and struggling to get back on their feet, I find it unconscionable that the Governor has chosen to eliminate CALWORKS and drastically cut in-home care for our seniors and disabled, essentially removing the few remaining pieces of the state’s social safety net.
Assemblyman Marty Block:
At a time of economic uncertainty, when we are being asked to provide more with less, our public education systems must remain a priority. Investing in higher education is a proven job creator, critical to our state’s long-term economic recovery and it is reassuring to see higher education programs preserved in this proposal.
Assemblyman Mike Eng:
Today, the governor laid out a budget plan that relies too heavily on cuts and the complete elimination of programs and services that my constituents need and rely on. I agree with the governor in that the budget is a reflection of the state’s values. However, I disagree significantly with his perception and understanding of what those values are.”
Assemblywoman Noreen Evans:
There is no compassion or shared sacrifice in the governor’s budget. By pushing for billions in new tax cuts for big business, his message to people in need is “you’re on your own.” This shocking indifference to needy fellow citizens is not what Californians are all about.
Assemblyman Alberto Torrico:
The governor’s attempts to shield his special interest supporters from the sacrifices we all must share in tough budget times, means California’s children are unfairly targeted for deep cuts that would result in fewer educational opportunities and declining access to child care.
Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada:
Eliminating CalWORKS and reducing IHSS is a particular assault on women. Abolishing all state aid for childcare prevents millions of women from going back to work and generating revenue for the state while simultaneously doing away with thousands of care giver jobs dominated by women. Everything must be on the table, and that includes revenue solutions and restructuring of the budget system. If there is no more low-hanging fruit as the Governor stated, we need to get creative and find ways to plant new trees.
Republican lawmakers and officials:
Senate Republican leader Dennis Hollingsworth:
The Governor’s May revise is bitter medicine in many ways. By wisely not raising taxes, the Governor is siding with the people by refusing to punish California’s working families because of the legislature’s dawdling which wasted more than $3 billion. The spending reductions are unfortunate but necessary to begin restoring our budget’s fiscal health. The preservation of education, public safety and infrastructure priorities is important and that shows in this budget. Getting spending under control while not raising taxes further, if coupled with job creating proposals is the only way we will get our economy back on track and the budget back to health.
Senate Republican leader-elect Bob Dutton:
The “May Miracle” many in this Legislature were hoping for didn’t materialize. Accordingly the decisions we must make in the coming weeks are going to be even more difficult than if we had acted sooner. The state’s fiscal problems are a direct result of the Legislature’s failure to help the small business community of California that creates the bulk of jobs in the private sector. Until we get serious about job creation in the private sector, California’s fiscal problems will continue. We won’t restore California’s economy by trying to tax our way out of our budget problems. It’s time to focus on solutions that work.
Assembly Republican leader Martin Garrick:
The Governor’s May Revise lays out a blueprint to close a $19.1 billion budget deficit with no new taxes. This is a serious spending plan that prioritizes funding and makes difficult but necessary decisions. Rather than Democrats scrapping this plan and writing a new one that adds spending and taxes, the Legislature should use this plan as the foundation for the final budget. New tax increases are off the table with Republicans, no matter how well they are disguised. Democrats need to join Republicans and act on these spending cuts with urgency. The clock is ticking for a responsible, on time budget with no new taxes.
Assembly Budget Vice-Chairman Jim Nielsen:
We will be going through the May Revise line-by-line, and analyzing the Governor’s proposals. We agree with the Governor that all spending reductions must be on the table. We need to convene the budget conference committees immediately and put up a vote on this plan. There are many government programs that need to be reduced because we simply can’t afford to keep up this spending pace with a $19.1 billion deficit. We cannot continue California-only health and welfare programs that are not required by the federal government. We need to look at corrections spending to bring down inmate health care costs, and explore whether we can ensure justice and protect the public while housing lower-level inmates for less. Further reductions in spending on the state workforce are unavoidable.
Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bob Huff:
This lean budget proposal has something for everyone to hate, but you can’t spend what you don’t have. The sad thing is our current problem was also preventable. Republicans have been fighting for reasonable spending reductions for many years to fix our persistent budget structural imbalance. The Democrat majority clearly did not want to join us in that mission and we now have very few options.
Sen. Roy Ashburn:
The state budget deficit is a reflection on California’s economy – and our economy is sick. The problem is we are not creating enough jobs. It is time for government to get it right. That means controlling spending, reducing the burdens on business, and stimulating job growth to get people back to work.
Sen. George Runner:
The governor’s plan does not create or raise taxes. That’s good news for working Californians. The administration figured out that raising taxes is not the answer. For proof look no further at the effect last year’s $13 billion tax increase had on California’s economy: Revenues are down.
Sen. Tony Strickland:
Year after year, it’s the same run-around with the state budget. If we want to get California back on track, then some serious reform needs to take place. We need to create a better business climate in California by lowering taxes, reducing regulations on California businesses, and creating more jobs.
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore:
We’ve finally reached a point where shady accounting can no longer hide the dire condition of our state budget, which should be a wake-up call to those pushing the same tax-and-spend policies that led us here. This budget reflects decades of overspending on entitlement programs and gold-plated state worker benefits, a failure to address fraud in social services and a complete avoidance of responsibility for the long-term health of our state. The public employee unions and Democrat lawmakers howling about proposed cuts should look no farther than the nearest mirror for the cause of this crisis.
Assemblyman Curt Hagman:
I am hopeful all parties will study the Governor’s May Revise and we will be able to begin negotiations in the spirit of good faith and cooperation. We all share the goal of shepherding California through this difficult time while maintaining government’s most important roles protecting the public and creating jobs.
Jon Fleischman, publisher, FlashReport.Org, vice chairman, South, California Republican Party:
The budget cuts proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger are tough ones – but are realistic ones, given that revenues simply aren’t available to fund state government and its spending programs at their current level. The reality is that California is in a recession, and when the economy restricts, that means that the size of the state government must do the same
Health and welfare services groups:
Jean Ross, executive director, California Budget Project:
Largely because of the economic downturn, California once again faces a very difficult budget year. But the Governor’s May Revision is not the balanced, responsible approach called for at this critical time. It relies too heavily on proposed cuts, threatens the state’s economic recovery, and recklessly gambles with our future. It pulls the rug out from under families already struggling with double-digit unemployment rates and the worst economic crisis this country has seen since the Great Depression and would leave the state ill-prepared to compete in an ever more competitive global economy.
Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California:
In a tough budget situation, Governor Schwarzenegger’s revised budget represents the worst possible choice for California families, for our health system, and for our economy. At a time when millions are looking for relief, the Governor has proposed cuts that will deny medically necessary care, place greater financial strain on families, and turn back hundreds of millions of dollars in federal matching funds for our economy.
Melissa Stafford Jones, president and CEO, California Association of Public Hospitals & Health Systems:
Patients are arriving at our public hospital clinics and ERs in record numbers, seeking essential medications, cancer therapy and dialysis. Access to such life-saving medical care is not a luxury – it’s a basic human right. It shouldn’t be reserved only for those who can afford it. We urge the Governor to explore means of closing the deficit that don’t fall on the backs of those least able to withstand the impact.
Education groups and leaders:
California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott:
I applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger for understanding the critical role community colleges play in revitalizing California’s economy. By investing in students, he is aiding our fiscal recovery efforts. This is the worst economic situation I have ever seen and there are no easy options left for addressing California’s massive budget crisis. I do believe that by investing in the community colleges, the governor and Legislature will get Californians back to work quickly, which will infuse money into our economy and increase our tax revenue base. Also, of critical importance to our students is the governor’s proposal to maintain the Competitive Cal Grant program. Because more than 75 percent of these awards are given to community college students, this aid is essential to ensure college access for some of our most vulnerable students.
Jo A.S. Loss, president, California State PTA:
We are deeply disturbed that the Governor’s May Revision chooses to solve the state’s current fiscal crisis with massive cuts. This was not the only option. Choosing to impose these cuts on our children and their neighborhood schools is unacceptable.
Antonio R. Flores, president and CEO, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities:
We laud the Governor for a budget that recognizes the importance that higher education will play in getting California back on the road to reconomic recovery. We understand that this is a very difficult budget year, and that many of the other cuts proposed will affect Latino families, but we look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature on a final budget that provides Latino students with access and success in California’s system of higher education.
Scott P. Plotkin, executive director, California School Boards Association:
It is impossible to justify why our state government chooses to disregard the importance of a child’s education and well-being. What is clear is that we can no longer wait for the state to act in the interest of our students. In these dire circumstances, we are given no choice but to take drastic measures to fix our broken education finance system
Environmental groups and leaders:
Elizabeth Goldstein, president, California State Parks Foundation:
We hope that the fiscal year 2009-2010 state budget was the funding nadir of California’s state park system. California’s state parks now rank among the most endangered sites in the country. Budget cuts forced nearly 150 of the state’s 278 state parks to partially close or reduce services this last year.
Business groups and leaders:
Jack Stewart, president, California Manufacturers & Technology Association:
Californians are out of work and worried about their long-term security while many manufacturers, especially small ones, are concerned about their long-term competitiveness. The Governor’s “no new tax increases” announcement in his revised state budget proposal is a responsible step toward the state’s recovery. California’s budget focus must shift from extracting dollars from families and employers to putting people back to work in high wage jobs. Everyone wins when more Californians are working.
John Kabateck, executive director, National Federation of Independent Business/California (speaking for the organization Californians Against Higher Taxes):
We are thankful to Governor Schwarzenegger for making the tough decisions on this budget that will give California a fighting chance to pull out of this recession. By resisting calls for more tax increases, the Governor is leaving more money in the hands of those who create jobs and build businesses as well as the working families hit so hard by this downturn in the economy. This is the only way to reduce the state’s alarming unemployment rate and it is a healthy, robust economy that will provide the tax revenues to fund critical programs. We urge the Legislature to follow the Governor’s lead and help put California on the road to recovery.
Teresa Casazza, president, California Taxpayers’ Association:
The governor’s budget plan wisely avoids tax increases that would make the state’s economic problems even worse. With so many Californians out of work, and so many businesses struggling to stay open, adding to the already high tax burden would not help the people of this state.
Local government groups and officials:
Tony Oliveira , Kings County supervisor, speaking as president of the California State Association of Counties:
If this budget becomes a reality, the devastation upon Californians will be on par with the aftereffects of a major natural disaster,” says . “Homelessness, hunger, permanent job losses, elimination of mental health and substance abuse treatment, and more Californians driven into abject poverty are just some of the very real possibilities outlined in the Governor’s budget.
Paul McIntosh, executive director, California State Association of Counties:
There is agreement that the infrastructure in this state, both physical and social, is on the brink of collapse. The federal government is not going to come to the rescue. This disaster is a byproduct of our states dysfunctional budget process and without tangible reform; the human cost will continue to rise.
Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer, California Labor Federation:
With today’s revision of the state budget, Gov. Schwarzenegger has accelerated his slash-and-burn cuts to vital services into an all-out scorched earth campaign. At a time when joblessness and recession continue to batter California families, the devastating cuts the Governor proposes would choke off any hope of economic recovery.
Bill A. Lloyd, president, Service Employees International Union:
Rather than being honest with Californians about the choices facing California, this budget protects egregious corporate handouts in favor of eliminating a welfare-to-work system that saves money and lifts a million children out of the worst poverty, child care that enables low-income families to stay in the job market, and mental health services that prevent homelessness and keep communities safe.