California New Roundup – February 13, 2009

Stimulus deal could mean $26 billion for California The $789-billion economic stimulus bill headed toward congressional approval is expected to pour $26 billion into California — building roads, upgrading schools and launching other projects intended to create or save jobs.

Nation’s schools would get $106 billion from federal economic stimulus package The massive federal economic stimulus package hammered out by Congress this week contains about $106 billion earmarked for education, an unprecedented expansion of federal spending into the nation’s schools. District officials throughout California, bracing for another round of painful state budget cuts, were grateful for a new infusion of funds.

College opportunities for state residents ebb California’s historic leadership in higher education is in decline, with the state failing to provide a new generation of low-income, heavily Latino and immigrant students with the college prospects their parents and grandparents enjoyed, according to a study released Thursday.

California needs this imperfect budget Sacramento’s budget plan makes painful choices, but rejecting it would risk financial meltdown.There is plenty in the state budget deal, soon to face a vote in the Legislature, to make lawmakers, interest groups and Californians in general feel queasy. Just when the safety net for seniors and the working poor is most needed, this budget slashes it. Just when everyone agrees it’s time to kick the borrowing habit, this budget borrows from funds voters earmarked exclusively for particular programs. Just when Californians could use some extra cash to tide them through tough times, this budget raises taxes.

California budget critics turn up pressure on “This is war!” declares a powerful Los Angeles radio station.

California, SEIU near deal likely to deduct two holidays Union negotiators and the Schwarzenegger administration worked furiously Thursday to close contract talks before lawmakers vote on a state budget package that calls for $1.4 billion in savings from state employees’ pay and benefits.

Dan Walters: ‘Big 5’ process keeps public in darkThere are two distinct – although obviously connected – aspects to the agreement that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders forged on closing the state’s whopping budget deficit.

What state takes, feds may give back Schools, transit, prisons – it seems as if California has been caught in a crossfire in recent days, coming and going between state budget decisions and the workings of the federal government. The state’s porous budget condition, marked by a $40 billion deficit, has prompted big cuts in schools and transportation – holes that California officials hope will be at least partially filled by the big federal stimulus package President Barack Obama is expected to sign.

Appeals panel hears arguments over court’s power in prison health reform A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Thursday in San Francisco on whether a lower court judge has gone too far with his demands that California fund health care reform in its prisons.

The BuzzGay rights and labor leaders want former President Bill Clinton to cancel a speech at a San Diego hotel owned by a financial supporter of Proposition 8, the Associated Press reports. But Clinton is likely cross the picket line, said spokesman Matt McKenna, because he wants to honor the commitment he made to the International Franchise Association. McKenna noted that Clinton recorded a telephone message that went to millions of California households asking voters to defeat the anti-gay marriage measure.

Capitol Alert: White House: California to gain 396,000 jobs under stimulus plan A lot of numbers are flying around in Washington these days as reporters, lobbyists and everyone else tries to figure out what the gigantic $789 billion stimulus plan will mean for individual states.

State’s woes may blunt $789 billion stimulus What Washington does with one hand, California may reverse with the other, as the two governments work at cross-purposes in fighting a recession that has left 1.7 million Californians unemployed, a 9.3 percent unemployment rate and worse on the way.

State eyes $10 billion in stimulus for budget Matthew Yi,Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento BureauCalifornia state budget officials hope to use as much as $10 billion from the looming federal stimulus package to avoid borrowing money to offset the state’s gaping $42 billion deficit.
Meg Whitman makes case on how she’s different California gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, formally opening what may be the toughest bid of her long career, insisted she is offering a skill set and product that are very different from those of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a parade of other wealthy political novices who have run for the state’s highest office.

How stimulus could boost green technology Bottom line: The stimulus bill’s tight focus on alternative energy could help California in two big ways.

Something for everyone to hate There is only one word that can be used to describe the budget deal that emerged in the State Capitol this week: Painful.

The stimulus: What’s in it for Silicon Valley’s tech economy? The sweeping $789 billion stimulus bill headed for a vote in Congress is expected to create thousands of clean-tech jobs in Silicon Valley, gin up new business for many of the region’s tech companies and put hundreds of dollars in the pockets of most residents.

Doubts grow about California budget deal Interest groups at both ends of the political spectrum reacted with anger Thursday to the emerging plan to close the state’s massive budget deficit, and doubts began to mount about whether it had enough support in the Legislature to survive a planned vote this weekend.

Pass the state budget and share the pain The Chinese say this is the year of the ox. No wonder everybody will be gored by the state budget. It’s foolish to expect anything less when fixing a $40 billion deficit.

Proposed state budget adds another layer of tax It’s gonna hurt. That, in essence, was the message Thursday from a wide range of government officials, welfare advocates, taxpayers and other experts about the tentative state budget deal reached in Sacramento.

Schwarzenegger applauds progress in budget talks Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday said progress was being made in negotiations to close California’s $42 billion budget gap and that he was hoping for a legislative vote this week.

Clinton won’t cancel talk at boycotted hotel Despite pressure from supporters of same-sex marriage and organized labor, former President Bill Clinton will speak as planned at a San Diego hotel whose owner gave money to help pass Proposition 8.

County pins economic hopes on expected rebound in housing market The economic stimulus package could be what is needed to stanch a massive loss of jobs and allow the housing market a chance to turn around — provided it works.

Reports that state budget deal is near may be premature Even as the Assembly scheduled a rare Saturday session for a possible vote on a deal to close California’s $40 budget shortfall, there were indications in the Capitol on Thursday that speculation over a possible agreement may be premature.

Lawmakers live well in tough times State legislators would have us believe that they have been working their fingers to the bone since discovering the enormous cash hole in the current budget last fall. They would like us to think that there has been nothing more on their minds than coming up with a solution to the $42 billion budget deficit.

Lawmakers fight to keep deal moving and to muster votes for passage A fragile package of spending cuts and higher taxes to bridge a mammoth state budget shortfall held together Thursday as legislative leaders made plans to try to push through the tentative deal over the weekend.

Inland ready to spend stimulus Tens of thousands of jobs would be created or saved throughout Inland Southern California by a federal stimulus plan aimed at easing deep economic woes, but officials are uncertain when and how that help will arrive.