In a particularly adroit politlcal move, Governor Arnold has uses his executive power to authorize more than $3 billion in funds to be paid to cities and counties who lost money due to the re-lowering of the car tax.
Saying he had no choice, Schwarzenegger invoked a provision in the state's budget law and unilaterally ordered the money sent to local governments that stand to lose millions in revenues from a canceled increase in the state's vehicle licensing fee.This is a brilliant move. The Democrats (in state and local governments) had been positioning themselves to blame local budget gaps on Arnold, pointing out that he had promised to make up the money normally paid to local governments after he cut the revenue from the car tax. Of course, under normal circumstances the governor doesn't have the power to move money around like that, and the blame for any shortfall belongs entirely with the state legislature. Nevertheless, local municipalities were gearing up to blame Arnold for cuts to everything under the sun in what promised to be an epidemic of Washington Monument Syndrome.
Arnold has cleverly turned the tables; by using authority given by the legislature to the previous governor, Grey Davis, Arnold has come through for the local governments and made good on his promise. Naturally, Democrats in the legislature are not pleased.
Legislators have taken a dim view of the new governor's move, saying the money will have to be made up in additional budget cuts. Schwarzenegger said in Sacramento that $150 million in cuts have already been made and revenue projections are $1.8 billion higher than previously expected.Additional cuts? That's not a bug, that's a feature!