Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 11, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

BUDGET COMPROMISE....It looks like Arnold got the compromise he was looking for after all:

Schwarzenegger had sought a cap to rein in lawmakers he characterized as "overspending addicts" during his campaign to oust his Democratic predecessor, former Gov. Gray Davis. Originally, Schwarzenegger had sought to limit annual state spending to $72 billion a 16% cut from the current level and allow that level to rise or fall each year based on a formula tied to population and per capita income.

....The compromise they struck would ban the Legislature from borrowing money to balance the state budget. Such a constitutional requirement would force lawmakers to adjust spending each year to match revenues. But the deal would allow them to increase spending in years when the state's coffers were flush.

The agreement would also create a reserve fund to help balance the budget in tough economic times. The reserve would be started by diverting 1% of state revenue into a special pool starting in 2006. The percentage would rise to 2% in 2007 and 3% by 2008, where it would stay until the pool totaled 5% of the budget, or $8 billion, whichever was greater.

Good for him. It may not be everything he wanted, but this is the kind of compromise we need if we're going to get anything done around here.

And since I knocked the LA Times the other day for their lousy coverage of the budget negotiations, let me say that this time I thought their story was the most comprehensive of the bunch that I saw. Good for them too.

Kevin Drum 10:16 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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