Promising “a tough budget for tough times,” Jerry Brown became the 39th governor of California this morning, taking the helm at what is arguably the lowest point in the history of the Golden State. With at least $28 billion in deficits staring down the new (old) Gov. Brown he is about to propose a budget that will be deep in cuts and spare almost no part of the state government: local redevelopment agencies will be eliminated, social service benefits will be dramatically reduced, state parks will be closed, libraries will have their hours cut, Medi-Cal access will be restricted and both the Cal State and UC systems will see their budgets hit hard. Dealing with such a huge budget deficit six months before the traditional fiscal year ends is forcing Gov. Brown to come right out of the gate with both guns blazing, making his first 100 days crucial to closing this deficit and making the necessary structural changes to avoid future shortfalls. We look forward to what is sure to be an interesting, and painful, beginning of Gov. Brown’s third term.
Dan Walters, political columnist for the Sacramento Bee
Joe Mathews, Irvine Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation; author of The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy and California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How we Can Fix It; a columnist for the Daily Beast.