California’s Speaker of the Assembly skips Schwarzenegger’s budget

California Assembly Speaker John A Pérez (D-LA)
California Assembly Speaker John A Pérez (D-LA)
Assemblymember John A. Perez Web site

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When the governor released his revision of the state budget last week, one lawmaker was notably absent. The speaker of the Assembly was attending a Democratic golf fundraiser in Pebble Beach. Apparently, the speaker’s absence was no coincidence.

California’s governor had to revise the state budget no later than May 14. This year he waited until the last possible day, Friday afternoon, to release his plan. Also that day Assembly Speaker John Perez had pledged to attend a fundraiser in Pebble Beach near Carmel.

"I don’t think the timing was coincidental" Perez quipped. "I think it was proven to be really a good opportunity to make ugly proposals and dump the trash on a Friday and then try to distract you into talking about where I was instead of the substance of what his proposals are."

Perez said the governor’s proposals reflect “a narrow, right wing view” of the state’s priorities. He said the Assembly will pass a budget that restores funding to K-12 and protects health care and childcare for low-income Californians.

The governor’s press secretary responded by e-mail that Schwarzenegger had met his statutory obligation to revise the budget by May 14, and that he urges the legislature to pass the budget by its legal deadline, June 15.