The dailykos reports that advisers to Rob Reiner have told him that Reiner probably won't run for governor in 2006, in part because he has concluded that Schwarzenegger, if he runs, won't be beaten. But Reiner is keeping his options open. "Unless Schwarzenegger shows unexpected vulnerability" in the next year, look for Reiner to focus on 2010, Kos says.
Posted by dweintraub at 3:28 PM
Should the government require everybody to take a lunch break?
What if you would rather work straight through, skip lunch and go home early?
Current state law and regulations don't let you. And any employer who allows you to do so is subject to fines and civil litigation.
The Schwarzenegger Administration says employers should be allowed to simply notify all workers that they are entitled to a break if they want one, but also allow those who would rather not take it to have the freedom to work without a break. Labor leaders say this amount to exploitation, not flexibility.
The story is here.
Posted by dweintraub at 9:11 AM
If Schwarzenegger is going to balance the budget without a tax increase, as he still apparently hopes to do, he has to overcome two big hurdles. One is the simple math, which says he has to trim $6 billion to $8 billion from the growth in ongoing programs to bring them into line with revenues. The other is politically, convincing the people of California that this is the best approach to take.
On the latter, it's clear that the governor has latched on to a rhetorical approach that he thinks will work. He has used it at almost every opportunity recently to discuss the budget, and I expect to hear him use it a lot more in the weeks ahead. The theme is that state revenues are growing smartly, but that spending is programmed to grow even faster. The fix, in his view, is to slow the growth in spending. He seems to think that people will be more accepting of the cuts if they understand that, overall, spending is still growing quite a bit. Last night, on of all venues "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," Schwarzenegger tried out his lines again:
"We had a great revenue increase this last year of 6 billion dollars, but we are spending, you know, 13, 14 billion dollars more. So therefore we have a gap, we have an 8 billion dollar gap, and so we have to close that gap, and we have to make certain cuts because of it. These are tough cuts that we have to make, and I think that people will be angry, but that's what we have to do, otherwise we will go eventually again into bankruptcy, because the politicians have a tendency to spend money they don't have."
Posted by dweintraub at 9:06 AM
The Finance Department report for November is here. Not much news on the surface -- revenues for the month $30 million short of projections, still about $1 billion over projections for the fiscal year. But one intriguing number jumps out: withholding from wages was 24 percent above the level of a year ago. That seems promising.
Posted by dweintraub at 8:58 AM