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McClintock's list

Give Republican Tom McClintock credit. Democrats want to know where the Republicans would cut, and so McClintock made a list. It's not the official GOP list, but McClintock's contains 40 cuts totaling $2.895 billion.

It's a fairly controversial list - from eliminating funding for an anti-methamphetamine ad campaign to ending appropriations for Cesar Chavez Day celebrations to suspending all education categorical programs at their current levels. ($837.054 million) - and with each cut proposed, you can almost hear the outcry from the related stakeholder group.

Here's McClintock's list, posted on his blog

1. Adopt the governor's plan to conform welfare eligibility to federal law. ($324 million): Federal law sets a five year limit on the time a person may remain on welfare and requires work activities as a condition of receiving welfare. Most states conform to these requirements and have seen a dramatic reduction in their welfare rolls as a result. California law allows welfare recipients to remain on the welfare rolls indefinitely, or to ignore federal work activity requirements, with only a slight reduction in benefits - paid entirely by state taxpayers. The above savings DO NOT include the added cost savings of reducing the state's welfare rolls and avoiding federal sanctions for failure to do so. (5180)

2. Repeal in-state tuition subsidies for illegal aliens. ($75 million): Under current law, California taxpayers provide non-residents of the state of California - including foreign nationals illegally in the United States - the same in-state tuition subsidy as legal California residents - as long as they have spent three years in and graduated from a California high school. In 2005, the LAO estimated the total cost of the AB 540 waivers at the UC, CSU and Community College system at $120 million annually. According to the L.A.O., the University of California estimates that up to 13 percent of their waivers are for foreign nationals illegally in the United States and the Community Colleges estimate that up to 90 percent of their waivers are affected. Assuming a 13 percent rate at CSU as well, that brings the total cost to California taxpayers of providing the in-state tuition subsidies to foreign nationals illegally in the United States to as much as $75 million per year. (6110, 6610 and 6870)

3. Eliminate vacant staff positions. ($200 million): The Senate Republican Fiscal Office has identified approximately 6,000 vacant staff positions in non-health and non-corrections agencies that could be eliminated. Many agencies maintain these vacant positions - while continuing to receive funding for them - and use the unspent monies as a giant slush fund. (Various items)

4. Extend San Diego County's "Project 100 Percent" statewide. ($80 million): Within 10 days of the application being accepted, a public assistance investigator for San Diego County makes an appointment and actually visits the applicant in their home. This home visit allows the investigator to confirm with their own eyes whether the applicant actually lives there, has the children they claim and is otherwise eligible. Over the ten years this program has been in existence, they have found that one in five applicants misrepresents information on their welfare applications. Based upon the FIRST MONTH'S welfare benefit, they estimate the program saved a half million dollars last year in San Diego County. Since the average stay on welfare is 25 months, the actual savings of this program are more likely in the $12 1/2 million range. Annualized and extrapolated across the rest of the state, that's over $80 million per year. (5180)

5. Rescind the governor's proposal to increase salaries for prison guards, de-couple salaries from CHP, and institute a 12-month wage freeze. ($330 million): California prison guards make more than guards in any other state in the nation. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 5,000 guards made over $100,000 last year in wages and overtime. This is in addition to a benefits package that includes retirement as early as age 50 with 90 percent of their highest year's earnings. Offering an additional wage increase totaling $330 million is unjustifiable in good budget times; in the state's current fiscal condition, it is unconscionable. (5225)

6. Repeal appropriation for Cesar Chavez Day. ($5 million): Chavez Day celebrations should be funded with private donations - like any other holiday. (0650)

7. Eliminate funding for the methamphetamine anti-use ad campaign. ($10 million): There is no evidence suggesting that this advertising campaign will be effective in reducing methamphetamine use. (4200)

8. Abolish Physical Education Teacher Incentive Program. ($40 million): It is not clear why a $40 million incentive program is necessary to attract gym teachers. (6110)

9. Adopt LAO recommendation to match veterans who could transfer from Medi-Cal into the VA health system. ($250 million): The LAO writes in its Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget: "Our analysis of population survey data indicates that approximately 144,000 veterans who are entitled to comprehensive medical care and health services through the federal Veterans Administration (VA) heath care system are enrolled in the state's Medicaid Program (known as Medi-Cal in California). We believe it makes fiscal sense for the state to examine the possibility of encouraging veterans to seek medical care from the VA instead of from Medi-Cal...We estimate that the cost of such benefits totals approximately $500 million ($250 million General Fund)." (4260)

10. Eliminate general fund support for UC Labor Institute. ($6 million): This is precisely the sort of special interest program that should be funded with private grants and donations and not public funds. (6440)

11. Maintain all education categorical programs at their current levels. ($837.054 million): Despite the third consecutive year of declining enrollment, categorical programs continue to escalate. With fewer children in the public schools, maintaining categorical funding at its present level still produces a per pupil increase in actual support. (6110)

12. Eliminate general fund support of UC outreach activities. ($26.3 million): This still leaves $57 million out of UC unrestricted funds for outreach activities, in addition to the work of every high school counselor in the state, who is supposed to be doing precisely that. (6440)

13. Delete the three-year pilot program to increase legal representation in civil proceedings. ($5 million): The LAO recommended this item be deleted from the budget "because the benefits of the new program are not clear, relative to other potentially less expensive approaches and it would move the state in the direction of a major new funding commitment it could not easily afford." (0250)

14. Eliminate general fund support for the Science Center. ($14.808 million): This is the only museum in the state that is subsidized for 64 percent of its costs. This is exactly the sort of function that should be funded by private donations, patrons and visitors. (1100)

15. Transfer $100 million from PTA to reimburse general fund for STA debt service. ($100 million): Given the unexpected windfall to the PTA as a result of sky-rocketing gas prices, it is not unreasonable to transfer an additional $100 million for general fund debt service costs.(2660)

16. Require full county participation for transitional housing plus program. ($29.950 million): Once the share of cost requirement was eliminated last year, program costs have exploded from $1 million to $20 million in one year. This should be a county-option program. (5180)

17. Reinstate Transitional In-Patient Care. ($19 million): The TIC program shifts the care for patients with short-term medical or rehabilitative need from costly hospital-based general acute care to a transitional care unit within a skilled nursing facility. (4260)

18. Reduce COLA for UC and CSU administration at 3.4% rather than 4%. ($33.8 million): This is a LAO recommendation based on the fact that the governor's proposed 4 percent COLA is well in excess of the inflation rate. (6440 and 6610)

19. Adjust UC and CSU growth rates to reflect actual figures. ($24.9 million): The governor proposed funding UC and CSU growth at rates considerably higher than actual numbers would justify. This is an LAO recommendation. (6440 and 6610)

20. Raise qualifying GPA for CalGrant B program from 2.0 to 3.0. ($29.7 million): The CalGrant program is supposed to assist students to afford college educations in which they will be able to succeed. A minimum threshold to determine the likelihood of success is a "B" average. (7980)

21. Eliminate general fund support of OPR. ($5.436 million): OPR is a pet office of the governor that duplicates policy analysis that is provided by Executive Branch departments. In practice, the office does little to assist local governments and could easily be downsized or eliminated. (0650)

22. Delay implementation of biomonitoring program for one year. ($3.7 million): This is a new program and could easily be deferred for one year. (4265)

23. Eliminate California veterans cash benefit program. ($5.422 million): This is a state-only program that pays out cash benefits to certain veterans who would qualify for SSI/SSP in California but have returned to the Philippines. California should not be paying cash benefits to individuals who are no longer California residents. (5180)

24. Eliminate the Naturalization Services Program. ($5 million): This program is intended to increase the number of individuals naturalizing. It is a worthy goal, but the responsibility of the individual - not the state. (4700)

25. Rescind the augmentation to the Coastal Wetland Account for maintenance and management. ($5 million): This program has traditionally been funded by interest earned on the fund balance, and that funding mechanism should be continued. (3600)

26. Eliminate general fund support for litigation on climate change both in the Air Resources Board Budget ($1 million) and the Attorney General's Budget. ($2 million): Litigation on climate change will make no appreciable different on climate change, but have a chilling effect on economic activity. (0820 and 3900)

27. Reverse the 2006-07 marginal cost augmentation for UC and CSU. ($23 million): This was a discretionary augmentation removed and then re-inserted into the budget in 2006. There is no policy justification for this expenditure - and is not even part of the governor's compact. (6400 and 6610)

28. Rescind Medi-Cal continuous eligibility for children expansion by reinstating quarterly status reporting. ($26.5 million): This option would only dis-enroll children WHO ARE NO LONGER ELIGIBLE to receive Medi-Cal benefits. (4260)

29. Fund CSU pre-collegiate level coursework at the Community College Rate. ($10 million): This is a recommendation that the LAO has made in the past - pre-collegiate coursework should not be paid at collegiate prices. (6610)

30. Eliminate AVID funding. ($9.035 million): School districts can continue this program if they believe it is a high priority with their own discretionary funds. (6110)

31. Require Medi-Cal co-payments. ($34 million): Co-payment amounts would be used to offset Medi-Cal costs and reduce over-utilization. Providers would collect up to $3 from the beneficiary for specific services. No person would be denied care if they could not afford the co-payment. (4260)

32. Rescind the general fund augmentation made by the legislature for Student Aid Commission operations. ($15.4 million): Administrative overhead has traditionally been paid from the student loan operating fund. (7980)

33. Postpone establishment of the Chief Information Officer for one year. ($7.874 million): This is a brand-new office within the executive branch that can be easily postponed without affecting any ongoing programs. (0502)

34. Eliminate augmentation for Access to Justice program. ($2.5 million): Whatever the justification for this program, additional augmentations in a tight budget year are not justifiable. (0250)

35. Eliminate general fund support for African-American Museum capital outlay expansion. ($2.325 million): Capital outlay should be financed by revenue bonds redeemed by private donations and patrons. (1100)

36. Eliminate general fund support for emergency housing and assistance program. ($4 million): Proposition 1C provides for $50 million for homeless shelters supported by EHA. (2240)

37. Freeze CCC funding at last year's level. ($2.002 million): CCC has undergone considerable expansion in the last several years. It is a worthy program, but has far outstripped the growth of the general government. (3340)

38. Eliminate state-only cash assistance program for immigrants. ($128.3 million): A condition for legal entry and residence into the United States is a pledge that the immigrant will be gainfully employed and will not draw upon government support. This state-only program flies in the face of that pledge, which is why the federal government refuses to fund it. (5180)

39. Reduce County Single Allocation Funding. ($90 million): This is entirely a discretionary augmentation included in the 2006 budget act and continued in 2007-08. (5180)

40. Reduce CalWorks earned income disregard. ($70 million): This proposal will allow CalWorks families to keep $200 and 40 percent of remaining earned income. The state's earned income disregard policy will still be one of the most generous in the nation. (5180)

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