Gov. Brown cut more than $11 billion from state spending, including billions of dollars worth of services for
the aged, the sick and the poor. So he's dealt with
about half of his proposed tax-and-cut budget, but the remaining half -- taxes -- remains short of an agreement. It's all just another
day in the Capitol.
From the LAT's Shane Goldmacher: "The governor signed the new
laws to tackle $11.2 billion of the state's estimated $26-billion deficit, even
as he scrambled to find Republican support for the
other half of his budget plan:
a ballot measure asking voters' blessing to renew expiring
taxes. Time is
running out to place such a measure on the June ballot,
"State officials will now begin notifying many
Californians that their government benefits are to
be cut within 90 days — at
just about the start of the new budget year. Come July,
welfare grants will be
reduced by 8%, and parents will be kicked off the rolls after four
instead of the current five."
"Assistance for the elderly and disabled, in their
homes and at senior centers, will also be reduced.
State-subsidized child care
for 11- and 12-year-olds will be eliminated."
In the array of cuts was $1.5 billion from health care services for the poor, notes Dan Weintraub of HealthyCal.
"Most of the cuts will be achieved by reducing by 10
percent the reimbursement for doctors, hospitals and
other providers that care
for the poor. The bill will also increase premiums
in the Healthy Families
program, implement co-payments in Medi-Cal and limit doctor visits and the reimbursement
for over-the-counter medication..."
"Among the cuts in health care: Increased premiums in the Healthy Families insurance
program. For families with incomes from 151 percent to 200 percent of the
federal poverty level, premiums will nearly double
from $16 per month to $30,
with a family maximum of $90 per month. For families with incomes above 201
percent of the federal poverty level, premiums will
increase from $24 per child
to $42 per child, with a family maximum of $126. The budget also increases
co-payment for emergency room visits from $15 to $50, while hospital stays
would carry a co-payment of $100 a day and a maximum of $200."
Meanwhile, the poor aren't the only ones in pain: California's employers face a new payroll tax to pay the feds back for the money they loaned the
state to cover jobless benefits.
From the LAT's Marc Lifsher: "The report concludes that for a decade, the EDD "has
consistently failed to perform" at a level the U.S.
Labor Department "considers acceptable regarding its
timely delivery of unemployment benefits," State Auditor
Elaine M. Howle wrote in a letter to the governor and
"The unemployment insurance fund, insolvent since January
2009, relies on federal loans to pay jobless benefits.
The debt is expected to hit $13.4 billion by the end of this year unless state lawmakers
and the governor agree to raise payroll taxes, cut
benefits or do some combination of both. An interest
bill of $362 million is due in September."
By law, the state, which faces a $26-billion general budget deficit, must repay the federal
loans to the EDD by November."
Speaking of the economy, California's Indian tribes
are commissioning a study to look at the economic benefits of tribal
casinos, reports the Bee's Dale Kasler.
"The study, to be released later this year, will be
one of California's most prominent economists: Chris Thornberg of Beacon
Economics consulting in Los Angeles."
"The main thing is letting California legislators
and the public know that Indian gaming is working,"
said Susan Jensen,
spokeswoman for the California Nations Indian Gaming
association is co-sponsoring the study with the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign
Indian Nations and the California Association of Tribal
"Thornberg said he'll prepare an independent look at
Indian gambling without any thought to political implications.
perspective, this is a matter of doing an economic
survey," he said.
"We're not weighing in on the pros or cons."
In San Diego, officials are considering canceling the planned layoffs of hundreds of teachers
by pulling redevelopment money from a new library project, reports Emily Alpert of the Voice of San Diego.
"The school board had earlier opted to spend $17 million
in money that goes from downtown redevelopment to the
school district on space
for a charter school in the planned downtown library.
School district leaders
believed the money could only be used on facilities."
"Now that the school board has the green light to use
redevelopment money on day-to-day costs, school board President Richard Barrera
is proposing to use more than $7 million that would have gone to the library
lease this year to cancel as many layoff warnings as
possible. The school board
will vote on the idea next Tuesday. It is unclear exactly
how many teachers it
would spare; Barrera asked the school district to focus on keeping
small in the youngest grades."
schoobrary would still be paid for: San Diego Unified could shift the library
spending from redevelopment money to its $2.1 billion school construction bond.
That could push back other school renovations, since
the district only gets so
much bond money each year."
As if all the economic turmoil isn't enough, Southern
California hospitals are sounding an alarm about CRKP,
a bacteria-resistant "superbug" that is starting to show up in
hospitals in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.
Susan Abram, Melissa Evans and Mediha Fejzagic DiMartino in the Inland Daily
Bulletin: "The CRKP was initially contained to the East Coast,
laboratory results for the last six months of 2010 show it has spread to
medical facilities in San Bernardino and Los Angeles
"We had two cases," PVHMC's Desai said.
"Last one was three or four months ago. The infection
was present on
admission and both patients recovered." Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has
recorded 356 cases, while San Bernardino County remains somewhat
"So far, no one has reported it in our county,"
Public Health Officer Maxwell Ohikhuare said. However, Fontana-based Kaiser Permanente has had two
cases in the past twelve months though no fatalities,
according to Jennifer
Resch-Silvestri, public affairs area director."
And we look into our "High School Confidential" file to read about the woman who was a school clerical
worker by day and a porn star by night. Naturally,
one of the students recognized her and, naturally,
he blabbed all.
"The woman, known by the stage name Samantha Ardente,
been suspended without pay while Etchemins High School
near Quebec City decides
whether the star of Serial Abusers 2 will keep her day job."
“It’s a first in our history,” school board spokeswoman
Louise Boisvert told QMI Agency. “Even if she didn’t work directly with the
students, we have to evaluate the impact that this
story will have on her, on
the students and on the staff.”
"The administrative employee was recently confronted
student who had seen one of her films. She refused
his request for an autograph
and told him to keep quiet about her double life. He
instead told his friends
and word eventually got back to the administration."