California mayors blast budget deal, promise legal challenge

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Mayors of several California cities lashed out at the state budget deal Thursday. They said the agreement will force them to drastically cut government services. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more.

Republican and Democratic mayors alike criticized the state’s plan to seize more than $4 billion in funding for local governments.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin: "Our clear message is local governments cannot absorb these cuts."

In a conference call with reporters, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster predicted dramatic reductions in what their cities can offer.

Mayor Chuck Reed: "We're going to have to cut services and eliminate jobs in order to cope with these cuts. We don't happen to have the money sitting around."

Mayor Bob Foster: "That will affect street sweeping, that'll affect engineering projects, that'll affect street pavement work."

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he was particularly disappointed that the state wants to seize cities’ redevelopment money.

Mayor Kevin Johnson: "I just can't tell you how upset and disappointed I am."

The mayors said they'd prefer the state borrow money from cities and counties under Proposition 1-A, rather than seize redevelopment and transportation funds. Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido echoed his peers.

Mayor Miguel Pulido: "I truly believe what they're doing as lawmakers is illegal."

Officials of more than 100 California cities and counties say they’ll to go to court to stop the state budget deal.