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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- For much of the year, the debate surrounding the budget has pitted Gov. Jerry Brown against Democrats in the Legislature. But starting this week, there will be a different set of divisions in the Capitol. The Assembly and the Senate are pushing different budget plans that will need to be reconciled in a series of joint hearings scheduled to begin Friday.  Although the differences involve a relatively small part of the budget, they represented divergent views on how California should begin reinvesting in government programs now that deficits have faded.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 | By Chris Megerian and Patrick McGreevy
One day before Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to release his updated spending plan, Democrats in the Legislature began lining up empty bills to streamline the budget process. The annual ritual is a reliable source of controversy in the Capitol, with Republicans accusing Democrats of preventing a transparent review of the budget. The Senate approved 37 pieces of blank legislation, and the Assembly approved 34. The votes broke down along party lines. The bills serve as placeholders.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the new state budget, which is set to take effect Monday. The $96.3-billion spending plan for the general fund contains much of what Brown sought when he released his initial blueprint in January, including a shift of some school money from wealthy districts to those with large numbers of poor students and English-learners. It also lays the groundwork for more spending on social services, university tuition assistance and mental health care in future years, a priority of the Legislature's leaders.
OPINION
May 24, 2012
Re "An L.A. budget, with holes," Editorial, May 18 Since 2009, the city has undertaken unprecedented structural reform while addressing each year's shortfall, including: Requiring employees to contribute 2% to 4% (from zero) of their pay for retiree health benefits, and freezing benefits for employees not contributing. The elimination of nearly 5,000 positions, resulting in the smallest civilian workforce since Tom Bradley was mayor. Pension reform and a 20% salary reduction for new hires.
OPINION
May 15, 2012
Re "State deficit estimate hits $16 billion," May 13 Again we are facing budget shortfalls that need to be made up by more taxes. Is there an end to California's financial crisis? Do we have to go from crisis to crisis with no light at the end of the tunnel? The Greek financial shadow is looming larger because the governor doesn't have the guts to make the changes to get our house in order. No one says, "Enough is enough. " I am glad I am 80 years old, but the future my children and grandchildren will endure frightens me to no end. H.K. Rahlfs Irvine The answer to every government deficit situation: "This means we will have to make cuts far greater than asked for at the beginning of the year in schools, public safety and services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 2012
Lawmakers on Friday approved $92.1-billion budget plan, which now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature or veto. It still may be modified before a July 1 deadline. Social services Spending on welfare, child care and home care for the elderly and disabled would be reduced but not by as much as Brown wanted. CalWORKs, the state welfare program, is facing the biggest hit at $428 million. Brown wanted to reduce monthly checks for people who have been on welfare for more than two years and not met work requirements.
OPINION
October 18, 2010
State and local governments need money to get through the economic slump, so they're turning to, well, garage sales. The city of Los Angeles is doing so literally, negotiating the long-term lease of parking garages to private operators. And California officials reported Oct. 11 that they had reached a deal to sell the Ronald Reagan State Building and the Junipero Serra Building in downtown Los Angeles, plus nine other buildings in four other cities, to a private real estate partnership.
OPINION
February 22, 2012 | By David M. Primo
It has been three years since President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was enacted. The stimulus was one of the administration's first attempts to micromanage the economy with short-run policies instead of offering a long-run strategy for restructuring government. The president's proposed 2013 budget is the latest. If we learned anything from the stimulus, it's that the country would be better served if the president did less tinkering in his budget - like handing out tax breaks for manufacturing and "clean" energy - and more leading.
OPINION
April 17, 2012
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana are putting the final touches on the budget that the mayor will introduce to the City Council on Friday. All signs are that it will open a bruising debate, with the predictable calls for sacrifice to close a budget shortfall of more than $200 million. Layoffs seem a near-certainty, and the search for new revenue is an inescapable part of the solution. There is much to bemoan in all of this. No one wants to put more workers on the street in a slow economy, nor is there much enthusiasm at City Hall or elsewhere for tax hikes to prevent even greater cuts.
NATIONAL
April 28, 2009 | Associated Press
Congressional Democrats sealed an agreement Monday night on a budget plan that would help President Obama overhaul the healthcare system but allow his tax cut for most workers to expire after next year. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) announced the agreement and key details. The pact would prevent Senate Republicans from delaying or blocking Obama's plan to vastly expand government-subsidized healthcare when it advances this fall. The $3.
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