NEW BUDGET CARVES UP LOCAL PORK.
Byline: Terri Hardy Sacramento Bureau
The $81.3 billion state budget signed Tuesday by Gov. Gray Davis provides millions for projects in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. region, although the governor also vetoed several projects important to area lawmakers.
The budget provides $5 million to purchase environmentally sensitive land in the Oakmont area of Glendale, $4.8 million to construct a new building at Mission College and $400,000 for restoration of the earthquake-damaged Los Encinos State Historic Park in Encino.
The Valley's secession movement also got a crucial jump-start with the governor's approval of $1.8 million to help fund a study of the effects of a breakaway city. Davis said he was not taking sides on the secession issue.
``It's important that a study be done to determine if the Valley can be financially independent and can support itself should it ultimately become a separate city,'' he said at a Capitol news conference.
Davis signed the budget after vetoing $300 million in programs and regional requests. Lawmakers said they were disappointed to lose $2 million that would have helped pay for moving the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Children's Museum Children's museums are institutions that provide exhibits and programs that stimulate informal learning experiences for children. In contrast with traditional museums that typically have a hands-off policy regarding exhibits, children's museums feature interactive exhibits that are from downtown to Griffith Park Griffith Park is a large public park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. It is situated in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,210 acres (17 km²) of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. , $400,000 to expand a sound insulation program for homes near Burbank Airport and $100,000 to put up fences at Valley View Park in North Hollywood.
Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg Robert Myles Hertzberg was born on November 19, 1954 in Los Angeles, California, was an attorney and businessperson, and served in the California State Assembly from 1996-2002. , D-Van Nuys, who won his push for the cityhood study but lost funding for the Children's Museum, said the highs and lows of the budget process are to be expected.
``The governor had to cut $300 million to make it a balanced budget Balanced budget
A budget in which the income equals expenditure. See: budget.
A budget in which the expenditures incurred during a given period are matched by revenues. , so you kind of expect it,'' Hertzberg said.
Assemblyman Tony Cardenas Tony Cardenas served in the California State Assembly. In the Assembly, he had the powerful position of chair of the Budget Committee. He is now a Los Angeles City Councilman, representing the 6th district, which includes parts of the San Fernando Valley. , D-Panorama City, was successful in his multiyear fight to get $4.8 million for a new building at Mission College. Because of administrative snafus at the college, previous allocations for the same purpose went unused. Cardenas, joined by Sen. Richard Alarcon, D-Van Nuys, fought for the money to be turned back to the school.
But as a result of getting the $4.8 million, other requests suffered this year, Cardenas said. ``They figured that the Northeast Valley got a lot of money, even though that money was approved years ago,'' he said.
An official lawmaker-by-lawmaker tally of budget requests, obtained by the Daily News, shows money for legislators' pork-barrel projects is not doled out Adj. 1. doled out - given out in portions
apportioned, dealt out, meted out, parceled out
distributed - spread out or scattered about or divided up equally and those close to the budget process often emerge as the biggest winners.
Senate President Pro Tem president pro tem
n. pl. presidents pro tem Informal
A president pro tempore. John Burton John Burton is the name of:
Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (born Antonio (Tony) Ramon Villar, Jr. on January 23, 1953) is the mayor of Los Angeles, California. He is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872. , D-Los Angeles, the most powerful member of the Assembly, was second, with $13.3 million.
Sen. Steve Peace, D-La Mesa, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, was a close third with $13.2 million for his district, and not a single veto by the governor.
Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, a nonprofit policy group based in Sacramento, said the inequality of the pork distribution is a political fact of life.
``The closer you are to the budget process, the more influence you have,'' Ross said.
But that influence doesn't always have staying power with the governor, Capitol insiders said.
One of the biggest losers in the budget lottery was Assemblyman George Runner George C. Runner, Jr. (born March 25 1952 in Scotia, New York) is a Republican California State Senator, who represents the 17th Senate District, which includes portions of Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County. , R-Lancaster.
Runner, who was vice chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee and the panel's lone Republican, put 13 items totaling nearly $4.5 million in the Legislature's version of the budget. But Davis vetoed eight of those requests, bringing Runner's total pork down to $1.2 million.
Runner could not be reached for comment.
Lawmakers said their appeals for funds met with greater success when they matched Davis' top priorities of education and the environment.
Sen. Adam Schiff
Adam B. Schiff (born June 20 1960) is an American politician. He first served in the California State Senate. , D-Pasadena, said he believes that is the reason the budget provides $5 million to purchase the Oakmont land. Gov. Pete Wilson For others named Pete Wilson, see .
Peter Barton Wilson (born August 23, 1933) is an American Republican politician from California. Wilson served as the thirty-sixth Governor of California (1991–1999), the culmination of more than three decades in the public arena that had blue-penciled the request in past budgets.
``I think preservation of open space was a top priority for the governor, and that showed in items approved throughout the state,'' Schiff said.
Marc Stirdivant, president of the citizens group that fought to preserve the 238 acres planned for development, said the money will help protect the community's quality of life.
``This is pristine land on the north slope North Slope, Alaska: see Alaska North Slope. of the Verdugo Mountains The Verdugo Mountains are a small mountain range located just south of the western San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County, Southern California, The United States of America (USA). The range is commonly known simply as the Verdugos. , with 3,000 mature oak and sycamore trees,'' Stirdivant said. ``Instead of a horrific proposal to put a wedge in the middle of the mountains, this means we'll be able to connect a series of open spaces.''
The governor's budget included more than $80 million for projects in Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, , including more than $30 million for environmental and park projects in the greater Los Angeles area The Greater Los Angeles Area, or the Southland, is the agglomeration of urbanized area around the city of Los Angeles, California, United States. There are two "official" definitions—the Los Angeles metropolitan area consisting only of the Los Angeles and Orange . More than $12 million was designated to fund area museums and cultural centers and $7 million was slated for a local school projects.
For a host of statewide projects, the budget provides $11.8 million to train 3,300 new teachers. It also returns $670 million to local governments, which lost a portion of revenues to the state in recent years.
Lawmakers were angered however, over a decision by Davis to remove $1 million from the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control that would have been used to assess toxic exposure at schools.
Sen. Tom Hayden Thomas Emmett "Tom" Hayden (born December 11, 1939) is an American social and political activist and politician, most famous for his involvement in the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s. , D-Los Angeles, who cited recent revelations of toxic problems at the Belmont Learning Center This Belmont Learning Center contains information about a building currently under construction.
It may contain information of a speculative nature, and the content may change dramatically as construction progresses and new information becomes available. and other campuses, said this is the worst possible time for the governor to cut funding.
``It's a disaster - I believe the governor was misled on this issue,'' Hayden said.
In a document explaining his vetoes, Davis said he would use the $1 million instead to address growing concerns of toxic contamination in portable classrooms.
At his press conference, Davis said his actions spoke for themselves and declined to provide any additional explanation of his vetoes or the reasoning behind them.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Here is what the new state budget provides for programs requested by Valley area lawmakers and leaders of the Senate and Assembly, as well as the amounts vetoed by Gov. Gray Davis.
Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco
General Fund: $27 million
Other funds: $1.1 million
Vetoed: $4.85 million
Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, D-Los Angeles
General Fund: $13.3 million
Vetoed: $8.5 million
Sen. Richard Alarcon, D-Van Nuys
General Fund: $200,000
Other funds: $4.7 million
Vetoed: $2 million
Assemblyman Tony Cardenas, D-Panorama City
General Fund: $150,000
Other funds: $4.7 million
Vetoed: $1.1 million
Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles
General Fund: $2.8 million
Vetoed: $3.5 million
Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys
General Fund: $1.8 million
Vetoed: $2.2 million
Sen. W.J. ``Pete'' Knight, R-Palmdale
General Fund: $350,000
Vetoed: $1.8 million
Assemblyman Wally Knox, D-Los Angeles
General Fund: $200,000
Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl, D-Encino
General Fund: $1.8 million
Assemblyman Tom McClintock, R-Granada Hills
General Fund: 0
Assemblyman George Runner, R-Lancaster
General Fund: $1.2 million
Vetoed: $3.3 million
Sen. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena
General Fund: $5.5 million
Assemblyman Jack Scott, D-Pasadena
General Fund: $200,000
Assemblyman Tony Strickland, R-Camarillo
General Fund: $1 million
Vetoed: $1.5 million
Sen. Cathie Wright, R-Simi Valley
General Fund: $400,000
Vetoed: $1 million
Assemblyman Scott Wildman, D-Glendale
General Fund: $1.1 million
SOURCE: California Legislature
Box: Winners and losers (see text)