External Affairs Newsletter | Office of the Governator

Put on your anti-spin boots and read this latest missive from the Governor that cares, Ahrnold.

January 2010
Welcome to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Office of External Affairs January 2010 
LEGISLATIVE ALERT – California is Racing to the Top

After calling a special session and introducing a bi-partisan legislative package, on Jan. 7, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed historic education reform legislation making California highly competitive in President Obama’s national $4.35 billion Race to the Top education reform and funding competition. Bi-partisan measures SBX5 1 by Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and SBX5 4 by Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) ensure California can submit a highly competitive application for up to $1 billion in much needed funding for our schools by implementing historic and sweeping education reform measures to better California’s education system.

In addition to ensuring California’s application for Race to the Top is highly competitive, the signing of these legislative measures into law demonstrates California is ready to break away from the status-quo and work to truly improve education for students – as envisioned by President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative. The reforms contained in SBX5 1 and SBX5 4 will change the culture of education in California by empowering parents to have a true voice in making choices for their children and ensuring their voices are heard at every level of their school district. Intended to address Obama Administration competitiveness requirements, highlights of these reform measures include:

·         Implementing bold turnaround strategies in the bottom five percent of persistently low-performing schools.

·         Allowing California parents more freedom to choose the school that best serves their children by authorizing open enrollment for students in the lowest-performing schools.

·         Enacting new authority for parents to petition and require school boards to fix failing schools.

·         Affirming California’s student and teacher data systems may be used by local districts to evaluate teachers and principals, subject to collective bargaining.

The Obama administration will name the Race to the Top winners in April 2010.  For more information and to view California’s Race to the Top application, please visit: www.caracetothetop.org

2010-11 Budget Proposal

On Jan. 8, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger submitted his proposed budget for 2010-11 to the California Legislature. The Governor’s proposed budget closes a $19.9 billion gap over the next 18 months between revenues and projected state expenditures by streamlining government, reducing costs and reforming our relationship with the federal government. The Governor’s budget calls for even greater reductions in nearly every aspect of state government than were necessary in 2009. With these reductions the Governor will make every effort to maintain essential services for Californians who need them the most in the midst of this financial crisis. In particular, the Governor’s budget protects education, including higher education, from additional deep cuts. In fact, the Governor’s proposal re-prioritizes funds away from administration and into the classroom, and away from prisons into our universities. To give California both the flexibility and the fairness that is needed to better manage critical state programs, achieve substantial savings and avoid even deeper and more painful budget reductions, Governor Schwarzenegger traveled with legislative leaders to Washington D.C. this month to work together with our partners in the federal government to reduce costs and put our leaders in charge of decisions impacting California taxpayers.  Click here to watch Governor Schwarzenegger deliver his 2010-11 budget proposal.
Click here for detailed information regarding the Governor’s entire budget proposal.

Highlights from the State of the State Address

On Jan. 6, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger delivered his annual State of the State address before a joint session of the California legislature. The Governor reflected on the teamwork that brought California through the worst recession since the Great Depression in 2009 and laid out his vision for California in 2010. In his speech, the Governor announced two new California initiatives: the California Jobs Initiative, designed to create jobs and ensure California is a better partner to the economy, and Operation Welcome Home, a program to ensure returning veterans are provided access to the services and opportunities they deserve. In addition, the Governor announced a historic shift in California’s priorities by proposing a constitutional amendment to ensure that the state never again spends a greater percentage of funds on prisons than on higher education. The Governor also continued to push the priorities he has been advocating for years, including fighting for California’s fair share of federal funding, tackling tax and pension reform and reducing prison costs.  Click here to watch Governor Schwarzenegger deliver the 2010 State of the State Address.

Creating a Business-Friendly Economy

Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposals to foster a more business-friendly economy and create new jobs will:

·         Create 100,000 New Jobs And Train An Additional 140,000 Californians With A New Job Creation Initiative

·         Streamline Regulations To Get Shovels In The Ground – Creating Jobs And Spurring Economic Activity

·         Extend The Home Buyer Tax Credit To Encourage Homeownership

·         Eliminate Sales Taxes On Green Tech Manufacturing Equipment To Increase Investment In California’s Fastest Growing Economy

·         Eliminate Frivolous Lawsuits That Punish California’s Small Businesses

Read More About the Governor’s Plan to Foster a Business-Friendly Economy and Create Jobs

Reshaping Priorities

California universities are known around the world as the crown jewel of California’s education system. Until recent years, California’s priorities were clear: the state dedicated approximately 10 percent of its General Fund to higher education and just three percent on prisons.  Today, California spends more than 10 percent on prisons and seven percent on higher education.

The Governor is proposing to change our state’s constitution to permanently ensure this never happens again. Currently, California taxpayers spend $18,000 more per prisoner than the ten largest states. Under the Governor’s initiative, no less than 10 percent of taxpayer money would be allocated to fund public institutions of higher education; and no more than seven percent of Californians money would be allocated to support of the state prison system. These mandatory limits would begin in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Read More About the Governor’s Proposal to Reshape Our Priorities to Shift Funding From Prisons to Univeristies

Strengthening Employment and Economic Opportunities for California’s Veterans

On Jan. 6, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger launched California’s Operation Welcome Home, a statewide outreach initiative to connect each and every returning combat veteran to the services that can help them transition successfully from the battle front to the home front. Operation Welcome Home will put 300 recent veterans to work identifying and making direct contact with the 30,000 heroes returning to California annually to counsel them about benefits and transitional workforce training available to help them enter the workforce and transition to civilian life.

Read More About Operation Welcome Home

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