[mobile site, backup mobile]
[SoapBlox Help]
Menu & About Calitics

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

- About Calitics
- The Rules (Legal Stuff)
- Event Calendar
- Calitics' ActBlue Page
- Calitics RSS Feed
- Additional Advertisers

View All Calitics Tags Or Search with Google:
Web Calitics

Arnold Uses Line-Item Veto To Attack Parks, Farms, Kids and HIV Patients

by: Robert Cruickshank

Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 11:56:30 AM PDT

One thing that ought to be eliminated at a constitutional convention is the line-item veto. It was ruled unconstitutional for the federal government in the 1990s as giving the executive branch too much power. Unfortunately many state line-item vetoes are written into state constitutions, as is ours, and have therefore been upheld by courts.

Today we witness the damage that the line-item veto causes in the hands of a right-wing governor bent on using it to achieve his long-desired destruction of public services. Arnold's vetoes include:

• An additional $6.2 million cut from state parks, which will likely cause as many as 50 more parks to be closed (potentially 1/3 of parks - 100 total - will now have to close)

• Elimination of state funding for community health clinic programs

• $80 million cut to child welfare services

• Total of about $400 million in health care cuts, including further Healthy Families cuts

• Elimination of funding for the Williamson Act programs to preserve farmland from development

• Deeper cuts to HIV/AIDS programs, as Brian noted.

• Cut 80% of funding for domestic violence shelters

• Elimination of funding for California Conservation Corps

• Cut half of Cal Grant funding, but could be restored "contingent upon enactment of legislation that authorizes the decentralization of the Cal Grant Program and other financial aid programs as warranted."

The state legislature could try and override these vetoes. But as we've seen time and again, this legislature appears to have forgotten that the override power actually exists. It would be a very good chance for Democrats to force Republicans to take a stand on these programs. Either they vote to restore the funding, or they vote to kick kids off of health care and close beaches and parks, giving Dems a set of issues to run on in 2010.

It seems doubtful that such an override will even be attempted. And so California slides deeper into ruin.

UPDATE: As the United Ways of California point out the children's health care cuts are going to ensure the wider spread of H1N1 flu this fall. Children are one of the primary vectors of swine flu, and without access to health care we will see a more intense and more deadly flu epidemic when school starts this fall.

See the full list of cuts here.

UPDATE 2: Darrell Steinberg vows to fight the vetoes:

"We will fight to restore every dollar of additional cuts to health and human services.  The Senate held the line and passed a budget revision package with a sufficient reserve that met the Governor's test.

We question whether the majority of these vetoes are legal.  

The Governor has the right to blue pencil an appropriation.  The funding levels identified in the budget revision in many cases are not new appropriations."  

This is not the last word."

What this means isn't at all clear. It was the Assembly that shot down the HUTA raid and the offshore drilling, so is Steinberg saying those need to be revisited? Is he planning to sue? Is he planning a veto session? None of that is clear just yet.

Robert Cruickshank :: Arnold Uses Line-Item Veto To Attack Parks, Farms, Kids and HIV Patients
Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Forcing a Black Thursday veto session (0.00 / 0)
It's important that the governor be called to account for these cuts, and it's important that as much of the public as possible knows he's doing this.  And it's important that the Democratic leadership be forced to actually fight them.

It's also important that we continue to build our capacity to organize people against the Black Thursday Budget, and that we give the people we organize something to do.

So this needs to be our next short term focus of activity.

Totally agreed (5.00 / 1)
Working on that as we speak.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
Looking forward to seeing just that.

[ Parent ]
OK so what do we do? (5.00 / 1)
How do we force the Democratic leadership to fight?  I called and wrote multiple letters to my reps, Leno and Ammiano, as well as to Steinberg, Bass, and even John Burton, and I know other people did as well.  And what did we get to show for our effort?  A lousy budget deal and more hand-wringing from Democrats in Sacramento.

All these cuts are reprehensible, especially since we have no oil extraction tax, etc., but to permanently close another 50 state parks just to add $6 million to a reserve fund . . . I can't accept that.  

It's clear the Governor has a special hatred in his heart for the state parks.  One of his first acts was to forbid the parks from expanding, even if the land was donated to the state.  Next he tried to close 48 state parks, and we beat back that effort (no thanks to Don Perata, who gave up fighting for the State Park Access Pass last fall).  Then it looked like we'd escape with 30-50 parks closed, but now it will be 100 or so.

If the Democrats' answer is "Wait until 2010," our response needs to be, "Yes, that is when you will be primaried by a Progressive Democrat who cares about this state and its residents and will actually fight to preserve state government."  It seems that all elected Democrats can do is talk about why they can't do anything to solve the problems that their fecklessness helps to create.

[ Parent ]
Good time to build lists, raise money and do activities (5.00 / 1)
A few of us did a lot.  But not enough of us are doing.  Hence, we don't have a lot to show for our efforts.

I think the next step is to organize people at the local level, and get them to learn what (I think people should call) the Black Thursday Budget does to their local communities.  The idea is to run local events, and get names and contact information at the local level.

We did not generate all that much pressure on legislators this last round.  Ask your rep; most likely they will tell you that not all that many people called in.  This is unfortunate, but it appears to be a fact.

So the next step is building our ability to raise hell.  Next time, we don't want this to happen.

[ Parent ]
Short term, long term (0.00 / 0)
Short term we've clearly lost. You are dead on, we need to ensure that this doesn't happen once again.

I think?

[ Parent ]
Calitics in the Media
Archives & Bookings
The Calitics Radio Show
Calitics Premium Ads

Support Calitics:

Buy on Amazon through us.


Google Blogsearch

Daily Email Summary

Powered by: SoapBlox