California may need to cut another $8 billion to $10 billion of spending to balance the budget lawmakers passed in late September, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said this week.
“Since everyone has to take a haircut here, it’s natural that education gets hit, law enforcement gets hit, prisons are going to get hit, and also health care is going to get hit,” Schwarzenegger said at a press conference in Sacramento. “It’s just the math. It’s not me. It’s mathematics that tells you that you have to make cuts in those kinds of different areas.”
The budget picture has steadily worsened since Schwarzenegger signed a “balanced” budget on September 23, ending 85-day budget stalemate over a shortfall of more than $15 billion. Three weeks ago, the state expected a $3 billion deficit. This week, the governor said the state faced a fiscal “state of emergency.”
The governor said he will call a special legislative session to deal with the deficit the day after the election. On Tuesday, he warned local education officials to prepare for $2 billion to $4 billion in budget cuts.
California’s jobless rate has surged more than two percentage points to 7.7% this year.