Remembering Valentine’s Day….

California state legislators will be receiving special Valentine greetings. Next week, all over the state, California will ask their state legislators to “Have a Heart” and how the cruel cuts can hurt California families.

Local families will bring valentines, flowers, and chocolates to several district offices around the state across the week. The actions are the work of a broad coalition of over 50 California organizations that support a balanced approach to the current budget crisis (see a partial list of organizations below.) Governor Schwarzenegger’s $17.3 billion in solutions include deep cuts to schools, health care, and human services with $1.1 billion in cuts to Medi-Cal spending, $4.8 billion in cuts to K-12 education, and the closure of 48 state parks.

The week of Valentine’s Day is a big moment in the buget battle: both budget committees of the Assembly and the Senate will hold hearings on Wednesday, February 13th to agree on a final package of mid-year cuts.
* Assembly Budget Committee, chaired by Assemblyman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), will meet Wednesday, February 13 at 1:30pm, at Room 4202.
* Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Senators Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego), will meet Wednesdat, February 13 around 1:30pm, at Room 4203

We expect that legislators will take action on some mid-year cuts, but leave most of the Governor’s proposed reductions for the discussion of the main 2008-09 budget, with hearings starting in March, and negotiations beginning in earnest after the Governor’s May Revise of the budget.

Before then, the deadline for the Legislature to act on a mid-year cuts package is February 23rd. After Proposition 58, the State Constitution requires that the Legislature send a bill (or bills) to the Governor 45 days after the Governor declares a “fiscal emergency”, which he did on January 10. If the Legislature fails to do so, the Legislature cannot adjourn the special session (except for the day or short periods) or take up other business.

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