Steinberg Files Suit Against Governor


By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) filed suit Monday against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for the governor’s “blue pencil” elimination of existing appropriations in social programs in this year’s budget.

Steinberg spokesperson, Alicia Trost, confirmed to California Progress Report yesterday that the lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco Superior Court.

The case will be before Judge Peter Busch.

The Governor is No Emperor

Anthony-Wright-2008.gifBy Anthony Wright
Executive Director of Health Access California

Senator Steinberg announced that using his campaign funds, he would personally sue Governor Schwarzenegger over the additional $500 million in blue-pencil line-items cuts.

Lots of groups impacted were interested in suing, but they were, by definition, the folks hard-pressed to find the resources to sue: community clinics, AIDS services providers, battered women's shelters, low-income families with uninsured children, etc.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board weighed in why this fight is not just so critical for the services mentioned, but for the issue of balance of power:

Leg Counsel: Governor’s Veto Illegal

David M Greenwald.jpgby David M. Greenwald
California Progress Report

Last week Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attempted to balance the budget by using his line-item veto authority to cut from various sectors of government in order to balance the budget while building a half billion dollars into the reserve. He focused his cuts on social services and health programs that have already experienced huge cuts.

While the Governor argued that he was forced to do by the Assembly which removed some of the money from the budget they passed including taking local money that goes for infrastructure and also removing offshore oil leases as a solution, Democrats such as Assemblymember John Perez (D-Los Angeles) immediately cried foul.

Federal Judges Order California To Reduce Prison Population By 44,000

dday.gif By David Dayen

A ruling by the three-judge panel who have effectively taken control of the California prison system has ordered the state to reduce the prison population by as much as 40,000 44,000 inmates within the next two years, finding the system in violation of Constitutional mandates. The Tough On Crime balloon has just popped.

The judges said that reducing prison crowding in California was the only way to change what they called an unconstitutional prison health care system that causes one unnecessary death a week. In a scathing 184-page order, the judges criticized state officials, saying they had failed to comply with previous orders to fix the health care system in the prisons and reduce crowding, and recommended remedies, including reform of the parole system.

Caucus Chairs Calls Immediate Restoration of $487.2 million in Cuts Made Illegally by Schwarzenegger

john_perez.jpgAssemblymember John A. Perez

The Constitution gives the governor considerable power over the budget, but it doesn’t give him the power to make it up as he goes along. While I consider these cuts criminal morally, they are in fact illegal in the eyes of the law. It is wrong for ordinary Californians to suffer so the Governor can spare oil, alcohol and tobacco companies from paying their fair share.

We need to immediately restore the funds that were cut. $487.2 million in cuts made illegally by the governor through line-item vetoes. According to the California State Constitution, the governor can only use his line-item veto power on original budget appropriations, not previously approved spending.

When To Repeal Prop 8

Paul-Hogarth.gif By Paul Hogarth