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Governor Calls Special Session; Proposes $10b In Cuts - Dec. 6, 2010


December 6, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

Governor Schwarzenegger just held a press conference announcing that he is declaring a fiscal emergency and calling a special session of the Legislature.

The governor's special session budget proposal (http://www.dof.ca.gov/budget/historical/2010-11/documents/2010-11_SS_Budget_WEB.pdf)  includes $1.9 billion in current year (2010-11) solutions, and the balance would reduce the deficit in 2011-12 ($8 billion). Even if all of the solutions are adopted, the state would still have a $15.6 billion 18-month budget problem, according to the nonpartisant Legislative Analyst's Office.

The big items are not particularly new, the largest being the proposed elimination of CalWORKs, the state's welfare-to-work program.

The only education/higher education change is to state-subsidized child care--specifically, "a decrease of 200.2 million in current year to eliminate all remaining General Fund support of subsidized child care programs, except for the State Preschool Program and CalWORKs Stage 2, effective April 1, 2011."

While today's action starts the clock ticking on the provisions of the constitution added by Proposition 58, which prohibits action by the Legislature on matters other than the budget after a 45-day period without action on the fiscal emergency, no action is expected before Jerry Brown takes office on January 3. Brown is expected to introduce his budget plan January 10, and possibly earlier. The Legislature convened today in a ceremonial session, and then adjourned with no plans to return until January.

We certainly appreciate that the governor stood by his commitment not to cut community colleges below his January 2010 budget proposal, but are also wary that the state's awful fiscal condition continues to put our colleges at risk for both significant current-year and budget-year cuts.

Scott Lay
President and Chief Executive Officer
Community College League of California
2017 O Street, Sacramento, California 95811

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Last Updated: 12/9/10