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.
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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.