All of California is abuzz with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to cut the state budget yet again in the face of what he says is an imbalance between the amount of tax revenue the state submits to the federal treasury and the level of services it receives in return. The move has led to confusion, as state and federal Democrats and Republicans scramble to align with the appropriate parties. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), said that the governor is pushing blame onto the federal government to mask “his inability to meet the challenges of his job.” State Senator Tony Strickland (R-Santa Barbara), on the other hand, lauded the lack of new taxes in Schwarzenegger’s 2010-11 budget proposal.
Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) fast-tracked legislation making it illegal for witnesses not to report rape and murder to law enforcement officials. A law passed in 1999 contained similar witness accountability language but was limited to victims younger than 14 years old. The 10/24 gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, witnessed by multiple people, prompted Nava to push AB 984, which will remove the age threshold.
Since 1/5, Eric Ford — the Goleta Water District’s chief financial officer — has been on a leave of absence that will reportedly last until 2/15. An offer to Ford to become the district’s next general manager was rescinded when water activist Jack Ruskey pulled financial records indicating that Ford had invested district funds in a manner not in keeping with district financial policy. Officials will not comment on Ford’s absence, citing it a personnel matter.