Thursday, June 18, 2009

Schwarzenegger Says He'll Veto Democrats' Plan For Balancing Budget

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke outside of his office earlier today, making a promise to veto the new democratic budget-balancing bill should it reach his desk. The bill includes tax hikes on oil, tobacco, and motorist fees, all of which Schwarzenegger claims are unfair for Californians already rising tax bills.

“The proposal included what the lawmakers said were $11 billion in cuts to programs dear to Democrats -- to education, healthcare and welfare -- along with $10 billion in accounting maneuvers and other financial moves such as selling state assets,” asserts the LA Times.

But it was the levies intended to raise $1.9 billion in new taxes on oil and tobacco, and fees on motorists to fund state parks, that Schwarzenegger said would be unfair to Californians after higher taxes were imposed on them in February.

"None of that will fly with me," the governor said. "It will be irresponsible after the largest tax increase in California's history just four months ago to go back to the people and to say we want to increase your taxes but we want to protect the salaries of state workers."

The Democrat-controlled budget committee Tuesday rejected the governor's proposal to cut state employee salaries by 5% on top of the two unpaid days off per month that they are already required to take. The lawmakers also dispensed with many of his steepest cuts to state programs, which would have eliminated California's welfare system, its health insurance for children and college tuition aid for low-income students.

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