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(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D- Los Angeles) today said California should collaborate with the federal government to identify potential federal funding for the state, but questioned much of the rest of the Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed spending plan.

“Democrats are supportive of the governor’s call for a better return on the dollars we send Washington, but budget threats the Governor usually aims at the Legislature should not be turned to the President of the United States,” said Bass.

Bass said leaders should approach the federal government from a point of collaboration and that all options should be on the table to address the budget deficit.

“The governor said that if California doesn’t receive $8 billion dollars from the federal government, he will push for draconian budget cuts to our safety net. He also called on our congressional delegation to vote against the health care reform we so desperately need in our country. It’s important we begin the challenging year ahead with cooperation, not a combative, contradictory tone,” Bass said.

The Speaker was critical of the administration’s proposed cuts that would effectively dismantle the safety net needed by millions of Californians, particularly during the ongoing recession. She also criticized the administration for slipping conservative policy proposals – that have no bearing on the budget – into the budget proposal in an effort to burnish the governor’s legacy.

“Unfortunately the governor is slipping policy issues in his budget that really amount to his concern over his legacy. Once again he’s looking to erode environmental, legal, education and pension protections. These have little to do with closing our budget deficit and more to do with a conservative legacy he wishes to leave behind. The governor says he wants to be in denial about this being his last year in office. This budget amounts to is a big pile of denial. The Legislature will take a much more serious approach to closing the state’s budget deficit.”

Website of Speaker Karen Bass:

Speaker Bass: Gov’s Proposed Budget is “Big Pile of Denial”



(Sacramento) – California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) says she’s pleased the Governor is planning to press the federal government to pay its fair share to help California overcome the current budget crisis but says much of the rest of the Governor’s proposed spending plan has little connection to reality. Speaker Bass says the Governor’s proposed cuts would effectively dismantle the safety net needed by millions of Californians. And, Speaker Bass says the Governor has slipped conservative policy proposals – that have no bearing on the budget – into his budget proposal in an effort to burnish is legacy. Here’s more from Assembly Speaker Bass in this Assembly Access video.

Here are links to audio of Speaker Bass:

Speaker Bass' opening remarks at budget response news conference. (3:58) mp3

Speaker Bass says the Governor's budget proposal is "in denial". (from the end of the opening statement) (:16) mp3

Speaker Bass says she expects the legislature to present its own series of reforms. (:09) mp3

Speaker Bass says the Gov's proposed cuts to health care and CalWorks are simply wrong. (:16) mp3

Speaker Bass says the Gov's proposals for off shore oil drilling has failed to win approval in the past. (:11) mp3

Speaker Bass says taxes will NOT be the centerpiece of a budget but says all options must be on the table during the upcoming budget process. (:17) mp3

Contact: Shannon Murphy: (916) 319-2408