Analysis 2008-09 Health Services Budget

In his May revision, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made deeper health cuts on top of what he had proposed in January. Earlier in the year, Schwarzenegger sought to narrow a multi-billion and growing budget shortfall with 10% across-the-board reductions. But as the state’s income continued to lag, leaving the total deficit – so far – at $17.2 billion the governor further devastated social and health programs for the poor. Schwarzenegger’s budget revisits familiar fiscal territory, proposing cuts that both he and former Gov. Gray Davis had proposed earlier in the decade, but were rejected by lawmakers as too extreme. In addition, Schwarzenegger re-proposed an administrative power grab, which would allow automatic, across-the-board cuts to programs when spending grows ahead of revenues. This proposal was rejected by voters in 2005.

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