In seeking the cuts, Schwarzenegger is trying to sustain a long-lasting answer to a problem that has affected California for decades.
“A state as great as ours should not approach every budget season as if it’s a roller coaster,” he said.
“We cannot have the same fights year after year, whether we want to raise taxes or control spending.”
During his nearly 30-minute address to reporters, Schwarzenegger stressed his reluctance to raise taxes.
“We cannot tax our way out of this problem,” he said. “There’s no reason to tax Californians because our system doesn’t work. If Democrats and Republicans sit together, we can fix this problem.”
But the battle may be uphill, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian said.
“It’s going to be a long, hard battle,” he said. “How long this takes depends in part on how long the governor and the [Republicans] are willing to cooperate.
“He wants to impose a greater burden on middle class, closing [tax] loopholes for yacht owners and the super rich. We need to look at the entire budget and find a process that won’t impose an undue burden on the middle class here in Burbank and Glendale.”
Schwarzenegger’s decision to declare a fiscal emergency triggers a special legislative session whereby the state governing body must address the budget crisis, either by approving the proposed cuts or by increasing taxes within 45 days, officials said.
As Burbank officials wait for the other shoe to drop, some are confident they can weather the storm.
“We’ve gone through shortfalls from Sacramento and survived” Burbank Chamber of Commerce President Gary Olson said. “Based on those years of bleeding, you can’t help but maintain a certain amount of optimism that whatever it is, we’ll get through.”
Glendale News-Press reporter Ryan Vaillancourt contributed to this report.
JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers City Hall and public safety in Burbank. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at email@example.com.