Schwarzennegger's financial fixes better than doing nothing What others say

Posted: Monday, December 29, 2003

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a ''public safety emergency'' on Dec. 18 as his answer to how he plans to make up for revenue local governments have lost as a result of the reduction in vehicle license fees.

The governor's plan is far from a permanent solution, but it is a temporary fix to prevent the wheels of vital local government services from immediately falling off.

... Given that his emergency powers surprise effectively put the Legislature on the defensive, many Democratic lawmakers probably won't be in a chipper mood to discover the next phase of Gov. Schwarzenegger's ''action, action, action, action'' plan.

Our new governor is showing prudent, vigorous leadership in handling what could have otherwise turned into a financial and public safety meltdown for local governments. His hands-on approach is a hallmark of leadership, a commodity sorely lacking in the previous administration.

We look forward to seeing him apply that leadership skill toward arriving at a permanent solution to the local funding crisis once the Legislature reconvenes next month.

The Reporter, Vacaville, Calif. - Dec. 22

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a new kind of governor, and the ''financial emergency'' he declared Dec. 18 is a catastrophe of a different sort. ...

... Dec. 18 he declared a fiscal crisis, an act that allows him to continue sending checks to the cities and counties without going to the Legislature for the money.

We'll all appreciate the firehouses and sheriff's substations staying open, but the governor still needs a plan to make up the $4 billion annual tab of the car tax on top of the $10 billion deficit the state was already projected to face next year. He trimmed $150 million from universities, migrant farmworker housing and the DMV cuts that will cover the car-tax tab for a few weeks.

... Even with emergency powers, it's hard to see how Schwarzenegger will squeeze any more juice out of the dried-out state budget. ...

... Give the governor some credit: He's stirred up Sacramento and is setting the agenda. If he really wants to be a different kind of politician, though, he could start by leveling with the voters about how deep of a hole we're in, and the effort it will take to get out.

In the meantime, while the ''action, action, action'' is making for a rollicking show, we'd suggest a sprinkling of some thought, thought, thought into the mix. ...

Record Searchlight, Redding, Calif. - Dec. 19

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