Nuñez criticizes proposals

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“Spillover monies for public transit is a no-go,” Nuñez said. “We just can’t go there.” Spillover funds are gas sales tax receipts that exceed expected tax revenues, according to the state Department of Finance. Because of high gas prices, the state expects to receive $4 billion in such funds over the next 10 years. Normally, spillover funds are dedicated to public transit. Instead, Schwarzenegger has proposed dedicating the money to paying down transportation bond debt, including past bonds and those that will be submitted to voters in November. Nuñez and other Democrats have complained about that proposal, saying the money should go toward its original purpose of public transportation. But a Department of Finance spokesman noted that by paying transportation bond debt, the spillover funds are indirectly helping fund public transportation. Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said there could be $4 billion or more spent on public transit in the November bond. “We don’t see this as an either/or type of situation,” Palmer said. “We believe we can provide resources for public transit as put forward in the bond that the governor supports. At the same time we can create a fund that provides a clear link between the prices we’re paying at the pump and the projects to relieve congestion.” Both Hill and Nuñez also object to the governor’s plan to pay back early $1 billion in debt created by his 2004 economic recovery bond. In Hill’s analysis of the governor’s budget, she recommends that the Legislature not adopt that proposal, and instead pay down the reserve, or prepay other debt that is coming due in 2007-08 or 2008-09. Voters authorized the economic recovery bond in 2004 for $15 billion, though only $11.3 billion in debt has been issued. The bond was originally scheduled to be paid back by 2023, but that was later revised to 2010. Now Schwarzenegger wants to pay it back in 2009 by prepaying $1 billion one year early. Villaraigosa, meeting Monday with a dozen legislators in Sacramento, said he also has concerns about the governor’s May budget revision. He declined to elaborate because the document is still being reviewed by city staffers, but he mentioned transportation funding as one area of concern. Villaraigosa came to Sacramento to thank legislators for their recent action placing four infrastructure bonds on the November ballot and to round up support for his proposal to reorganize the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as to launch an audit of the district. Today, he will be in Washington, D.C., with dozens of Los Angeles-area business leaders to discuss trade, transportation and education. [email protected] (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez criticized some elements of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised budget proposal Monday, saying a plan to cut public-transit funding is a “no-go” and more money should be stashed in reserves for financial emergencies. The statements came as the state’s nonpartisan legislative analyst also recommended more fiscal prudence in the budget, including a greater reserve and cautioned on education spending. Also, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited Sacramento on Monday to meet with a dozen legislators about the budget and other issues. While Schwarzenegger’s revised 2006-07 budget, released Friday, has generally received more positive reviews than his previous budgets – mainly because the state’s revenue picture has greatly improved – both Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, and Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill had concerns with how he proposed to use some of the surplus funds, including potentially cutting $4 billion in “spillover” gas tax funds for public transportation. last_img

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