Business & Economy

Program cuts are necessary to balance state budget, says governor’s chief of staff

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As the state budget impasse drags on, Governor Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff is talking tough. Susan Kennedy told KPCC’s Patt Morrison that every state program and department is likely to sacrifice so California can close its $26 billion shortfall.

Susan Kennedy: "I think the legislature is starting to come to terms with the fact that there is no way out of this budget without significant cuts to programs. I mean we had major expansion in the prior years, major expansions of various programs with no way to pay for them and they are going to have to scale some of them back at least temporarily to something we can afford. That’s going to be a very difficult issue for the legislature to face and it’s going to take awhile for them to come to grips with it."

Democrats in the state legislature are criticizing the governor for balancing the budget with cuts to healthcare and support services for the poorest Californians. Budget talks in Sacramento are at a standstill.