Podcast: The Early Show

January 6, 2012 · Filed Under Podcasts · Comments Off 

For a budget that most watchers thought wouldn't hold many surprises -- new and deep cuts, premised on taxes -- perhaps the biggest surprise was the timing. A surprise to Governor Jerry Brown, too.

This week's Capital Notes Podcast takes a first look at the new state budget proposal -- winners, losers, and the political challenges Brown faces in getting it passed.

Kevin Yamamura of the Sacramento Bee and I also discuss criticisms about the proposed new round of "trigger cuts," and use analogies from basketball to -- well -- Star Wars to describe the road ahead.

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Surprise! The New State Budget

January 5, 2012 · Filed Under CA Budget, Taxes, The Governor · 11 Comments 

"We are in a box," said Gov. Brown of the state's budget woes. (Photo: KQED/John Myers)

The unveiling of a governor's state budget every January is an annual, and well rehearsed, ritual: budget decisions are made in late December, budget goes to the printer, gubernatorial staffers privately brief some stakeholder groups (some who leak to the press), governor calls a news conference.

Yeah. So much for the playbook. On Thursday afternoon, after a copy of his proposal somehow was uploaded to a state website (oops), Governor Jerry Brown quickly summoned reporters and offered up the entire 2012-13 blueprint -- one that pegs the deficit at $9.2 billion and includes some major changes and cuts to health and human services.
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Rethinking Budget Trigger Unlikely, Says Speaker

November 28, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget · 2 Comments 

Pool/Hector Amezcua

Assembly Speaker John Perez isn't ruling it out -- never say never, one supposes -- but nonetheless says that talk of the Legislature stopping, or even just rejiggering, the budget's automatic spending cuts isn't likely to go anywhere.

"I don’t know of another approach that has greater support than the triggers that we already voted on," said Perez in comments to reporters after today's long and contentious meeting of the regents of the University of California.
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Podcast: Trigger Talk

November 18, 2011 · Filed Under Podcasts · Comments Off 

And now, the final debate of the 2011 budget saga: was the $2 billion trigger cut provision a fiscal insurance policy, a risky bet for millions who depend on targeted services, or simply a political necessity in a very polarized statehouse?

As we discuss in this week's Capital Notes Podcast, the answer is hard to glean so far -- in part, because no one's quite sure how much of the trigger will be pulled. Yes, even if it will be pulled.

Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I take a quick look at the details of -- and reaction to -- this week's important revenue forecast. We also discuss the politics of additional cuts, and what Governor Jerry Brown's own team might offer in its revenue projection due next month.

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Budget Revenues Already Shaky

August 9, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Economy, The Governor · 1 Comment 

If Governor Jerry Brown's first budget is going to survive without even deeper cuts to schools, health care for the poor, and public safety, things are going to have to get a lot better than they were in July.

And fast.

Newly released receipts show the state missed the mark for revenues in July by $538.8 million, a 10.3% over-assumption in the budget Brown signed into law on June 30.
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