Thursday, May 28, 2009
California Real Estate Buy Signal?
"California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to make deep education cuts and auction off some of the nation's most iconic properties--from the San Quentin state prison to the Los Angeles Memorial Coleseum--in order to close current and future budget shortfalls. ... The governor's office said the sales would be made two to five years from now and would not help close the current deficit. The state projects $15.4 billion in fresh red ink for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. ... By offering up the cuts and property sales, the governor is also opening a new negotiating tactic as he struggles to cajole taxpayers into approving a set of money-raising ballot measures. ... 'Until we fix the system,' Mr,. Schwarzenegger said, 'the budget madness that has always plagued the state will always be with us.' ... California legislators in April rejected such an idea [selling San Quentin (SQ)] for the fourth straight year, saying it would burden already overcrowded state prisons. The governor in recent days also floated the idea of releasing 40,000 inmates to relieve the prison system", Nichiolas Casey and Stu Woo at the WSJ, 15 May 2009.
The waiting list for jail grows daily. SQ is only 12 miles from Berkeley. Can Schwarzenegger make SQ a new UC campus and collect tuition from out-of-staters? Release the inmates? If they're in for minor drug offenses, why not? Alternatively, offer them to the feds for prosecution. Most state drug offenses are also federal crimes. Perhaps the Bureau of Prisons can house them. Do you still want to own California muni bonds?