March 13, 2013
New budget proposals this week from influential members of the House Republican and Senate Democratic leadership are the stuff of political caricatures. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), last year's Republican nominee for vice president, reprised the spending-cut talking points from his failed campaign with little change and no apparent irony. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), meanwhile, offered the outlines of a budget that increases taxes and spending, while doing little more than buying time on the entitlement programs at the heart of Washington's long-term problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2013 |
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.
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.
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.
February 22, 2012 |
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.
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2013 |
Providing Apple iPads to Los Angeles students will cost nearly $100 more apiece — or $770 per tablet, a new school district budget shows. This potential sticker shock can be avoided, but only after the L.A. Unified School District has spent at least $400 million for the devices. In other words, the district would have to buy nearly 520,000 iPads before getting lower prices. Officials did not answer questions Monday about how much the district would then spend on the remaining tablets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- The California Legislature has begun its consideration of the 2013 state budget, with both houses convening for debate and votes at 10 a.m. Friday. "Members, we've come a long way," said Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Robert Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills), introducing the main budget bill on the Assembly floor. Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers announced the $96.3-billion accord earlier this week. The agreement used Brown's more conservative revenue estimates, but also included some restoration of funds to social welfare services, a priority of Democratic lawmakers in the Legislature.
May 15, 2012
Gov. Jerry Brown's May budget revision leaves blood all over the Capitol walls. The era when California governors could make their cuts with a scalpel ended before Brown took office, so he does his trimming with a chain saw. The results are cuts in Medi-Cal payments to hospitals and nursing homes, cuts to those who care for the disabled, cuts to state courts and cuts in hours and pay for state employees. So far schools have been largely spared from this grisly exercise, but that will probably change in November if voters fail to approve a tax-hike initiative.