"Gov. [AS] of California was on the mark when he said this week that the state needed to change policies that spend more money on prisons than on the state's once-vaunted higher education systems, which are being bled to death in budget cuts. Mr. [AS] was way off the mark when he suggested that the answer was to privatize prison services or to pass yet another constitutional amendment, this time to limit prison spending. ... It would generally be impossible for the state to unilaterally lower prison spending without first cutting the prison population dramatically. ... The only real way for California to cut prison costs is to reverse sentencing policies that have filled its prisons to bursting and have driven up costs by about 50 percent over the last decade alone", NYT Editorial, 8 January 2010, link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/08/opinion/08fri3.html.
"Republican Gov. [AS] asked for $6.9 billion in federal funds in his state-budget proposal Friday and warned that state health and welfare programs would be threatened without the emergency help. ... 'It's time to enact long-term reforms that will change the way the most populous state and the federal government work together,' Mr. Schwarzenegger said. He and state legislative leaders plan to visit Washington to lobby for federal bailout money. White House budget officials weren't available to comment on the governor's request. ... The governor said California deserved the federal funds because the state sends far more tax money to Washington than it receives in return. Federal mandates, he added, 'force us to spend money that we do not have,' ... Mr. Schwarzenegger called the state legislature into a special budget session. He proposed cutting $2.4 billion from health and welfare spending and $1.2 billion from prison spending. He also called for cuts in salaries and pensions for state workers. ... State Senate President Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, said: 'I have one reaction: You've got to be kidding me.' He and other legislative leaders said they were opposed to any more cuts to welfare and health programs. Instead they said they preferred federal help or taxes on, for example, oil drilling and tobacco sales. ... The state has delayed billions of dollars of payments and issued IOUs to keep the government from defaulting. ... 'My concern at this point is that the negotiations could go on longer than the amount of cash the state has on hand,' said Gabriel Petek, analyst at Standard & Poor's Corp. which has California on a negative ratings outlook", Stu Woo & Jim Carlton at the WSJ, 9 January 2010, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126297948893221947.html.