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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

A Weblog by
Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« January 16, 2004 | | January 21, 2004 »
January 20, 2004

Spending limit?

Gov. Schwarzenegger kicked off his campaign today for Props. 57 and 58 – his $15 billion bond measure and the new budget reserve requirement that accompanies it. We figured, based on his previous statements, that the governor would put the best face on Prop. 58, describing it as the equivalent of “tearing up the credit card” even though its balanced budget requirement has enough loopholes to drive a Hummer-sized deficit through. But the first press release from the campaign also said the proposal would limit the growth in state spending to “no more than the growth in the state’s economy.” I’m not a big fan of formula-driven spending limits, but that statement is simply untrue. The measure includes no such provision. Schwarzenegger proposed a spending limit last fall but then agreed to a reserve requirement without one – the measure that eventually became Proposition 58. I asked Todd Harris, the campaign spokesman, about this distortion. Via email, Harris responded that the measure limits spending “by not allowing borrowing.” Aside from the fact that Schwarzenegger’s measure does not prohibit all borrowing, even a real prohibition on borrowing would not be a spending limit. At best, the governor could claim that his measure leaves intact the state’s existing Gann spending limit, but that limit has been amended so many times with exceptions that it is widely seen as irrelevant at this point.

UPDATE: Harris now acknowledges that the press release was in error regarding the spending limit. The line was an editing oversight, he says, and not an intent to mislead.

Posted by dweintraub at 4:22 PM



LAO: boost charter schools

California should remove its cap on the number of charter schools that can be created, give the schools more freedom over categorical programs, allow universities, non-profit groups and other entities to approve and oversee charters, and limit the fees that school districts can charge the reform-oriented schools, the Legislative Analyst recommends in a report released today. Here is a link to the full report.

Posted by dweintraub at 1:26 PM



From high-tech to bio-tech

It's not exactly upbeat, but a new report suggests that job losses in the Silicon Valley are slowing and the region has a bright future, in part due to the coming expansion of the bio-technology industry. Here is a link to the Silicon Valley Index from Joint Venture: Silicon Valley.

Posted by dweintraub at 8:56 AM



Nomination nonsense

This is what I love about the presidential nominating process. A week ago, the Field Poll told us that California Democrats ranked the candidates this way:

Dean 25
Clark 20
Lieberman 12
Kerry 7
Gephardt 6
Edwards 3

Now, after fewer than 200,000 Iowans voted in caucuses Monday night, Gephardt is done, Kerry is soaring, Edwards has new life and Dean is in trouble. I would love to see a new poll showing how Californians see the race today. But will it even matter? By the March 2 primary, chances are, Democrats here will see it pretty much the way their brethren in the early primary states saw it. Because they won’t have any choice. The race will either be over or, if it is a truly unique year, it will have come down to two, possibly three candidates by then. At which point California's huge cache of delegates will go to whoever did well in Arizona or South Dakota or Delaware.

Posted by dweintraub at 6:13 AM



 
 

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Daniel Weintraub



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