Schwarzenegger to declare fiscal emergency
According to a story in today’s Sacramento Bee on-line edition, by Kevin Yamamura and Aurelio Rojas, “Faced with as much as a $14 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday he will declare a “fiscal emergency” in January, which will enable the governor and lawmakers to fast-track mid-year spending cuts and other budget solutions. This will be the first time Schwarzenegger has used the “fiscal emergency” authority created in Proposition 58 in 2004. It allows the governor to declare an emergency when revenues are “substantially below” revenues that were anticipated when the budget was signed. This emergency will summon the Legislature into special session. If lawmakers fail to send the governor legislation addressing the budget problem within 45 days, they cannot take any action on other bills nor can they adjourn until they do.
The governor on Friday estimated the budget deficit at between “$10 billion and $14 billion,” this represents more than 12 percent of an estimated $111 billion General Fund budget.