If lawmakers won't make nearly $1 billion in cuts to California's welfare-to-work program, Gov. Jerry Brown said today, he'll find somewhere else to cut, promising a balanced budget.
"It's very simple. This is arithmetic, and it's really, I would call it seventh grade arithmetic," Brown said today, after an Assembly budget panel rejected his proposed CalWORKs cuts last month. "If you don't want to cut what I propose, find something else, and then show it. But we're going to have a balanced budget. That you can take to the bank."
The Democratic governor's remarks followed a speech to the California Police Chiefs Association in Sacramento. Brown, who is proposing tax increases and spending reductions to balance a budget deficit he estimates at $9.2 billion, said he is looking for more money for law enforcement, but he urged patience.
"You cops know what it is to deal with a tough neighborhood, OK?" Brown said. "I'm working in a tough neighborhood."
Brown told reporters that the spending plan he signs this year will "have its pain," but that the economy will improve in future years.
"I'm promising wine and roses," he said, "but not in 2012."