FROM Roger Salazar
Republicans Bring a Hatchet to the Budget Debate With the shortfall between spending and income growing day by day, Republicans yesterday offered their ideas for a balanced budget : $15.6 billion in cuts -- more than $10 billion from education -- and $6.5 billion in so-called "new" money. Governor Schwarzenegger and the Democrats scoffed at the plan, but conceded it was better than no plan at all. We get three perspectives.
Top Democrats Use Campaign Funds for Staff Pay, Legal Fees Democrat Don Perata of Oakland is president pro tem of the State Senate. He’s also been under federal investigation for four years. FBI agents have raided his home. E-mails and other documents have been subpoenaed. The Sacramento Bee says Perata’s legal expenses have added up to almost two million dollars. Now, the paper reports that the state Democratic Party has helped him out with 450,000 dollars from political contributions. Some party members are saying that money was supposed to be spent on campaigns against Republicans.
Indian Gaming Propositions Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger negotiated contracts with four California Indian tribes. Two of the tribes could have twice as many slot machines as the largest Las Vegas casinos; the two others could vastly expand their operations. In return, the tribes would increase the percent of the take they pay to the state from the current 7% to 13% percent, to 25% percent. The Democratic-controlled legislature approved the deals, but two other tribes, some labor unions and local governments were among those opposed. They raised enough signatures to put Propositions 94 , 95 , 96 and 97 on next month’s ballot. TV viewers have already seen that a very expensive campaign is under way.
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?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?