Runner Sounds Off On State Budget
Will equalization for SCV and others become a reality?
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner went on the air live with KHTS Hometown Morning Show host John Summers to talk about the ballooning 100 billion dollar state budget, and what California’s legislators will be doing with it in the coming weeks.
Governor Schwarzenegger told KHTS that he thinks the budget can be passed through on time. Runner, however, isn’t making any promises.
“He’s very optimistic and wants the budget on time, but we want to make sure it’s a good budget and doesn’t spend more money then it brings in…so I’m not really sure it’s going to be an on time budget,” she said.
So far, the budget is $2 billion over the projected state income. The democrats have another $1 Billion that they’re proposing including in this year’s budget.
So, the budget seems to offer little in the way of wiggle room for new items. As it breaks down this year, prop 98 says that 50% of the state budget must go to education right off the top, and roughly 40% is already spoken for. That leaves an estimated 10% of the budget for everything that the Assembly, Senate or Governor wants to add.
There may be some saving grace for Republican’s; because Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez has a Term Limit Extension that he would like to have passed.
“They want it to look like we’re getting along,” said Runner. So that could prompt the democrats to give the Republicans a few issues.
One of the issues that Runner sees as imperative is that of equalization.
“Some schools don’t get the same amount of money, and a lot of schools in southern California in our districts don’t receive as many state dollars as other districts,” Runner commented.
The governor has put in for 30 million dollars a year to equalize the amount of state funding that schools get.
This is a major issue for Santa Clarita, one that was brought up when over sixty community members went to Sacramento a few weeks ago to lobby. Currently, Santa Clarita schools receive much less state funding than other schools in California.
So in the coming weeks Californians will know the true fate of spending at the state level. Last year, overspending was saved by windfall revenues that many, including Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, say we shouldn’t count on this year.