State Sen. Carol Liu (D-Glendale) was one of nine Democratic women lawmakers who rallied at the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday morning to protest proposed budget cuts to a raft of services for women, children and students.
State budget negotiations are ongoing, with Republicans calling for cuts to balance a $19.1-billion deficit and Democrats seeking a mix of cuts and revenue increases. The state budget is now more than two months overdue.
Liu is the author of several social services bills that passed both houses in the Legislature and are awaiting action by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. They include:
• SB 962, which would make it easier for female prison inmates to participate in child custody hearings.
• SB 110, which would add protections for elderly and disabled people who are victims of crime.
• SB 1322, which would increase California residents' access to food stamps and give qualified recipients alternatives in meeting mandatory job training requirements.
The governor has until Sept. 30 to act on these and dozens of other bills passed when the legislative session ended Aug. 31.
Cost of illegal immigration
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich also is making noise as the budget stalemate lingers.
On Sept. 3, the supervisor, whose district includes Glendale and Burbank, called on Schwarzenegger to declare a state of economic emergency in California. Antonovich recently attended the opening of a new wing at health clinic in Antelope Valley where the state presented an IOU, rather than a check, to support the program.
Separately, Antonovich sought last week to shed light on the cost of illegal immigration, announcing that $52 million in welfare benefits went to illegal immigrants and their families in Los Angeles County in July. The figure includes $22 million from the state's CalWorks program, plus $30 million in food stamps.
In a statement, Antonovich said 23% of the funds for those programs in Los Angeles County go to undocumented residents, and that the total cost of welfare benefits to illegal immigrants in the county this year will exceed $600 million.
The League of Women Voters, with an active Burbank-Glendale chapter, has announced its endorsements for propositions on the November ballot.
The group favors Proposition 24, which would repeal business tax breaks enacted in last year's budget; and Proposition 25, which would require a simple majority, as opposed to a two-thirds super-majority, for the California Legislature to pass a budget.
The league opposes four measures: Proposition 23, which would suspend enforcement of California's greenhouse gas emissions reduction law; Proposition 26, which would require a two-thirds majority vote from lawmakers to raise certain taxes and fees; Proposition 26, which would halt redistricting of California political boundaries for state officeholders; and Proposition 20, which would extend the current redistricting effort to include congressional boundaries.
The League took no stand on the measure with the highest profile, Proposition 19, which would legalize and tax recreational use of marijuana.
The Burbank-Glendale chapter of the League of Women Voters holds a Beer Bash to kick off election season Sept. 16 at Gordon Biersch Brewery, 145 S. San Fernando Road, Burbank. For more information, call (818) 247-2407or visit lwvglendaleburbank.org.
FOR THE RECORD: This corrects an earlier version that incrorrectly listed the date of the League of Women Voters event.