California Budget Update

SACRAMENTO – In this week’s Democratic weekly radio address, Assemblymembers Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) and Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) say swift action to close California’s budget deficit also needs to include appropriate action to ensure that California doesn’t throw away eligibility for billions of dollars in federal funding or turn itself into the only state without a safety net. The members of the Budget Conference Committee, tasked with finding solutions to California’s $24 billion budget deficit, say reforms of state boards and agencies, paired with spending reductions and revenues, will help make up the balanced solution needed to address the budget deficit.

Click Here for the English language MP3 file. The running time is 1:50.

Click Here for the Spanish language MP3 file. The running time is 2:07.

Text of Assemblyman Bob Blumemfield’s remarks.

Hello, this is Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield of the San Fernando Valley.

This week the legislature continued our efforts to help fill the latest deficit the recession has brought to our state.

We heard from the Governor in a joint session of the legislature this week calling for swift action.

We all agree that we must act before the problem gets worse.

But the people of California want us to act appropriately not just quickly. And surgically, not just indiscriminately.

Looking at the governor’s budget proposal, there are definite questions.

What are the real costs of becoming the only state without a safety net?

Is this something we can really accept?

Should we eliminate efficient programs that bring in billions of federal dollars? In some cases nine federal dollars for every one state dollar?

The tough decisions ahead need to be smart ones.

We need a balanced approach to the problem, and even the governor’s own budget with its extensive borrowing and deferred payments, acknowledges there can’t be a cuts only solution.

On Wednesday the Budget Conference Committee moved to reduce and reorganize state bureaucracy in order to save money and serve Californians better. We not only changed the size of the bureaucracy but we rationalized its shape by removing layers at the top so it would more resemble a pyramid structure.

This action is an important part of the combination of reforms, reductions and revenues that will make up the balanced solution we need to address the budget deficit.

The Budget Conference Committee has been holding public hearings in a transparent process that has never been done before. That’s played an important part in helping us get the information we need to make the decisions to close the deficit.

The legislature and the governor all recognize the seriousness of the situation and we’re committed to a serious solution.

This is Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield.

Thank you for listening.