L.A. city officials were warned Monday in a “high priority alert” from Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller that a deal is near in the state legislature that will cost L.A. $150 million this year and create a budgetary — and political catastrophe — when next year’s budget is put together in the spring.
"On top of the $350 million gap the CAO projected for 2010during the budget this past spring, that could mean a totalhit to the City of half a billion dollars in fiscal year 2010," Miller wrote City Council members and their chiefs of staff. "Below is some additional information about the proposal andstrategies calling and writing the governor and legislativeleaders. Anything you can do to contact the State and let themknow how seriously this will impact us and all cities would behelpful. It is critically important to try and get the governornot to pass an emergency resolution, which is the first stepin the borrowing. From the governor's statements, he is opposedto the borrowing. However, given the State's situation, therewill be significant pressure to put a plan in place very soonand it is important to communicate our strong opposition." The State could run out of cash in early August, and legislators areconsidering borrowing against Prop 1A, but also Prop 42, Prop 63, Prop 10, and Prop 49. The state Department of Finance "has prepared a scenario where theycould justify taking Prop 42 (for relief of transportation congestion)without any obligation to repay. No one has seen the text of that scenario." "One scenarios is that the legislature agrees to release far more Bondmoney than originally planned, in an effort to back-fill other localfunds taken. The political problem is that voters were promised thatthis was additional money, not back-fill money."
Miller's advice to city officials is to send letters to the governorand key legislators. Why that sounds almost like ordinary people pleading for mercy from ourhigh and mighty government officials, formerly known as public servants. One of the interesting elements of this is that I've heard public speechesby three city council members from different parts of the city recently usealmost the exact same language in describing the city's own budget crisiswas covered up raiding every dollar lying around and various tricks ofpapering over the problem.
In each case, they said words to this effect: "We've done a great job inmanaging the city's finances in difficult times. The problem is the statehas a $14 billion deficit and they're going to take our money away from us." So who wrote the script? Gerry Miller? The army of lobbyists, P.R. andpolitical operatives, the mayor's office? Folks, I've been around a long time and I'm here to tell you that if youbelieve these people and the games they play, you deserve the governmentand the city you got. Wake up! It's the money. The money they take out of your pockets and giveto special interests and then come whining for me with the same special interests backing up their pleas for more of your money.