The day after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the California State budget, Mono County’s State Senator Dave Cox turned up in town. The Senator spoke to the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce lunch crowd.
Our Cleland Hoff was there. Senator Cox won the minds of local business owners when he told them to turn their cell phones on in case they could do some business during his talk.
What he had to say about state government did not make local merchants feel warm and fuzzy. Senator Cox called budget deliberations “an 80 day stand-off.” Cox said the Republicans did not want to see money borrowed from local governments and they did not want to see new taxes. Cox said they did try for an annual spending cap but failed.
Cox said he would like to report that the budget is fixed but, he said, the state still limps along with a structural deficit. “We need a spending cap on an annual basis,” he said.
Cox made it clear that he knew about the pain caused to local hospitals, governments and nursing homes waiting for state funds. He called finishing the budget “the right thing”, but said trouble is likely to happen again.
As we reported, local hospitals and other agencies expected to start receiving funds in about 10 days.