State Budget Deficit Captures Local Attention

Dollar dj vu in Sacramento these days. Headlines have delivered the rough news – California has another budget deficit. When the state suffers, frequently, we do too. So far, Mono County’s Finance Director Brian Muir says things do not look too bad for the Eastern Sierra.

Of course, it’s early. Muir said that he looked at California’s revised budget and “took it with a grain of salt. It’s a long way to the final budget,” he said. Muir said there is some concern the State will cut the Calworks program, but he said this is somewhat expected.

Muir said the State Legislature might eliminate subsidies under what’s called the Williamson Act. Mono County could lose $66,000. This has to do with agricultural land, tax breaks locally and reimbursements from the State.

Also of concern – the annual $500,000 grants for rural law enforcement. Inyo and Mono will officials will keep their eyes on that money. So far, it’s in the State budget.

Mr. Muir said that right now, Mono County does not face major fund losses because of the State.

Inyo County Deputy Administrator Kevin Carunchio said that he has reviewed the May revised State Budget. He said healthcare issues are likely to be the area to take a hit. Carunchio said a member of the Board of Supervisors continues to work with Health and Human Services Director Jean Dickenson to anayze program funds.

Carunchio said that a represenative of Senator Roy Ashubrn’s office indicated that the State budget registers a $3 billion deficit right now and that the State budget will not come out on time.

Governor Schwarzenegger is quoted as saying that a shaky economy and increased spending on healthcare, prisons and education means the need to cut. The Governor points out that initiatives and propositions have legally restricted what he can cut and can not cut.

Democrats say that the Governor’s budget will cut too deeply in welfare programs and programs for low-income elderly and disabled, plus public transportation funds.

{rokintensedebate}

Copyright 2006 Sierra Wave

 
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