FROM Ed Mendel
The State Budget and Public Pension Reform Governor Brown has declared a stalemate on closing the $25 billion gap between state spending and revenue. He wants roughly half made up by spending cuts and the other half to be an extension of tax increases approved by the voters. Republicans won't give him the two-thirds vote required to put that on the ballot, but there might be a deal on public pension reform. The state's bipartisan Little Hoover Commission has concluded that underfunded pensions threaten both state and local governments. The Legislative Analyst , also bipartisan, agrees.
A Budget Finally Passes, but Schwarzenegger Says He'll Veto It The longest budget stalemate in state history is not over yet. Governor Schwarzenegger says he'll veto the plan finally approved this week by both parties. He says it contains "fake budget reform" and makes the fiscal crisis even worse because "it kicks that can down the alley" into next year.
Budget Deficit Grows To $16 Billion One place where news staffs have been reduced is the State Capitol, where the Governor and the Legislature face a deficit of another kind. The Legislative Analyst, Elizabeth Hill who gets paid for impartial analysis, says the gap between spending and revenue is 1.5 billion more than Governor Schwarzenegger thinks it is; closer to 16 billion than 14. But this weekend, the Governor approved cuts and spending shifts supposedly worth 7 billion.
Tentative Deal Could End California’s 51-Day Budget Delay Late this afternoon, there was word that Senate Republicans had made a deal with the Democrats, seven weeks after the June 30th deadline. In the meantime, the Assembly passed a budget and left town. Today, both houses were back in session.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.