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Schwarzenegger makes the cut

Last week, the governor signed a $131 billion budget amid a chorus of
bipartisan congratulations. With state revenues higher than expected, and
the governor positioning himself for a re-election bid in the fall, there
was relatively little of the acrimonious negotiations that normally
accompany the hammering-out of the state’s spending plan.

But the governor did do a bit of trimming before signing his budget deal. He
used his line-item veto authority to cut $112 million in state funds from
the budget. The state lost out on another $63 million in federal matching
funds that would have accompanied the higher spending authorized by the
Legislature.

Below is a partial list of the governor’s line-item vetoes.

General government

  • $2 million from the Board of Equalization’s $208 million budget.
  • $250,000 for a Civil Rights Law mediation program, arguing that the money
    appropriated by the Legislature was “insufficient to implement such a
    program.”

    Housing

  • $500,000 for a low-income housing grant program, arguing that the housing
    bond “will provide $10 million in new bond funding” for the program.
    Transportation
  • $8.1 million in Capital Outlay Support Program for the Department of
    Transportation.

    Environment

  • $350,000 for Coastal Commission reviews of Liquefied Natural Gas
    proposals.
  • $10 million for local air districts. The governor argued that there are
    limited funds for new air quality spending, and halved the amount allocated
    by the Legislature for local air districts.

    Health care

  • $10 million for trauma-care services. The governor noted that local
    governments should pick up some of the costs for these services, and that
    other programs in the state budget will help hospitals in general.
  • $800,000 in alcohol- and drug-services programs

    Education

  • $466,000 that would have been used to oversee management teams of schools
    that have been taken over by the state. The governor predicted that “very
    few schools will be subject” to state takeover in the coming year.
  • $15 million for Reading First programs. In his veto message, the governor
    said he was “concerned that this language proposes to initiate a new cohort
    of grant recipients.”
  • $37.8 million in child-nutrition programs because “the Legislature did
    not link this funding to legislation that would require schools to improve
    the nutritional quality of meals served to California students.”

    Workers’ comp

  • $1.5 million to Cal/OSHA for more safety inspectors. The governor cited
    an LAO report that found “the levels of workplace injuries and fatalities in
    California are well below the national average.”

    Agriculture

  • $1 million for the Noxious Weed Management Programs. The governor said
    other money in the budget “will provide a sufficient level of funding to

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