Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One crisis, two plans

Compiled by Dan Smith, Bee Capitol Bureau Chief
June 23, 2009

Two plans have emerged to close the budget deficit, one proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and another passed by the Democratic-controlled conference committee. Here's how some provisions in the two plans compare and contrast.



• Cuts $4.5 billion from K-12 schools from the budget approved in February, and about $700 million from community colleges.

• Allows districts to shorten the school year by up to seven days.

• Includes a $315 million diversion from school bus programs to the state's general fund.


• Cuts $3.8 billion from K-12 schools, and $700 million from community colleges.

• Allows districts to shorten the school year by up to five days and suspend the high school exit examination.

• Guarantees schools will be repaid at least $9.3 billion in past budget cuts beginning in 2011 – a move that was rejected by voters in Proposition 1B in May.

• Increases fees for community college by $6 per unit, to $26 per unit.



• Reduces state aid to UC and CSU by about $2 billion. (Approximately $1.7 billion is offset by federal stimulus money.)

• Phases out CalGrants, the state's college fee assistance program, for a savings of $87.5 million.


• Accepts the governor's cuts, but divides them equally between UC and CSU.

• Rejects governor's plan to phase out CalGrants.



• Lays off at least 5,000 state workers, most of whom will likely land jobs in other state programs not funded by the general fund.

• Cuts pay by 5 percent for about 235,000 state workers, saving $470 million.

• Furloughs state workers two days a month without pay, saving $900 million. Combined with the pay cut, state workers would face a 14.2 percent drop in salaries.

• Consolidates or reorganizes a variety of departments for $50 million in savings.


• Rejects the governor's pay cut, which could lead to a third furlough day or more layoffs.

• Assumes two monthly furlough days for state workers because pending labor agreements to reduce furlough days from two to one will not be approved in the Legislature.

• Accepts governor's department reorganization savings, but includes different proposals, including elimination of state umbrella agencies.



• Eliminates the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program – CalWORKS. Cutting off the welfare-to-work program, which provides aid to about 1 million children and 300,000 adults, would save the state $1.3 billion (and mean the loss of about $4.5 billion in federal matching funds).

• Saves $1 billion by securing a waiver from the federal government so California can reduce rates and tighten eligibility requirements for Medi-Cal recipients.

• Eliminates Healthy Families, a health insurance program for 930,000 low-income children. It would save $375 million (and cost $500 million in federal matching funds).

• Eliminates the Adult Day Health Care program, for a savings of $170 million.

• Restricts In-Home Supportive Services to only the most severely ill and disabled, and lowers the state's share of IHSS worker pay to $8 an hour, for a savings of about $730 million.

• Reduces maximum SSI–SSP grants for low-income elderly, blind or disabled to $830 a month for individuals and $1,407 a month for couples. Saves $248 million.


• Retains CalWORKS, but cuts $270 million by reducing payments to counties, exempting families with very young children from work requirements and reducing caseload estimates.

• Agrees with the governor's plan for a federal waiver and $1 billion in savings in Medi-Cal, but rejects the governor's plans to eliminate some programs for legal immigrants.

• Retains Healthy Families program, but cuts $70 million by freezing enrollment unless private donations become available.

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