Wednesday 10:49 a.m. update: The last two days since this posting was written have been huge for income tax receipts -- almost $1.9 billion in just 48 hours, thus putting the state on a path to possibly exceeding expectations. No doubt that would change the political debate over revenues come May. --JM
This may not be the thing you want to hear on the day you're asked to hand over your taxes owed in 2011, but the state of California needs your cash. And fast.
Through Friday, state data shows only about 31% of the tax revenues projected -- and counted on -- for April had come in, meaning the month needs to finish big to avoid adding to California's fiscal pressures.
But what was much more interesting was Schwarzenegger's defense-- at times, somewhat angry -- of his legacy on California's fiscal woes.
Those questions are also a clear sign that the first week of the new legislative session will not be what it often is: devoid of news.
It's an odd time in the political world, waiting for one saga to begin while putting the final touches on the saga that's just ended.
But that's pretty much where we are on this week's Capital Notes Podcast -- awaiting next week's return of the Legislature and a special session on the (ongoing) budget crisis, while also concluding our long discussion of the 2010 election season.
Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I assess the road ahead for the incoming governor, and some of the polling data about how he -- and the entire slate of Democrats -- won their new jobs on November 2.
You don't need to read far into today's sobering assessment of California's finances from the Legislature's nonpartisan analysts -- a $25.4 billion deficit-- to find the kind of tough medicine the state needs, but which no elected official will probably ever say:
The solutions needed to balance the budget will mean unavoidably painful sacrifice by today’s Californians. The benefit of this sacrifice would be putting the state on a sound fiscal footing. That sound footing may allow future Californians to live in a place where the annual state budget process is a chance to improve government's ability to serve its residents.
As the saying goes, the truth hurts.
This week's Capital Notes Podcast comes a few days late, due to the exhaustion of last week's marathon ending to Budget Crisis 2010.
At least, a temporary ending to the crisis.
And so this special Monday edition sifts through the various items, big and small, from the final budget deal with a look at how it all came together.
But wait, there's more. Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I also check in on the latest sizzle from the governor's race, and the fracas over a scratchy audio recording... one you'll no doubt hear more about in tomorrow night's third, and final, debate.
NOTE: On the subject of when new state workers get a reduced pension plan, the date is January 15, 2011 -- and not, as we said, in November. We would have been correct had the proposal passed the Legislature with a 2/3 vote in each house, as was originally planned. But the overnight logjam on October 8 meant the proposal was ratified by majority vote -- thus, the later enactment date. Blame sleep deprivation, perhaps. And thanks to the listener who pointed it out. --JM
The state's longest budget drama may have felt like it ended just as the sun was rising this morning over the state Capitol -- it was an all night legislative battle to get the package ratified -- but it actually ended later Friday afternoon, when Schwarzenegger put his signature to the document and wielded his line-item veto power to cut another $1.1 billion in spending.