2010年8月4日水曜日

米加州 非常事態宣言

米加州で非常事態宣言が発令された。
 米加州の知事は、州の財政をめぐって非常事態を宣言した。
 同知事は、州の赤字は190億ドルに達するとして、議会に対し1カ月
以上も成立が遅れている予算案について議論を進めるよう求めた。
 赤字の規模は、知事が署名した2009/10年度一般予算850億ドルの22%に
相当し、カリフォルニア州の歳入が景気後退や住宅不況、金融危機を受け、
また高失業率による所得税の減少で、急激に落ち込んだことを示している。
州公務員に対し、8月から毎月3日の無給休暇を命じた。

加州の財政は、2年程前から破綻の危機にある。
州政府は、知事と議員が対立しており、非常事態宣言も政治的圧力との
見方もある。
知事の任期は、1月までなので、予算成立は1月以降との予測もある。

8月から、州公務員に月3日の無給休暇を命じているが、色々な方面で、
裏方として州公務員が必要となるが、どう対処するのだろうか。

財政危機 次はCA,NY,NJ
加州新幹線は儚い夢


Calif. Homes Still Threatened by Wildfires The Associated Press



---米加州、財政難で非常事態宣言---
2010年07月29日 19:22 発信地:ロサンゼルス/米国
http://www.afpbb.com/article/economy/2744054/6022893

【7月29日 AFP】米カリフォルニア(California)州のアーノルド・シュワルツェネッガー(Arnold Schwarzenegger)知事は28日、州財政の非常事態を宣言し、同州で7月1日に始まった2011年度の予算が成立するまで州職員の一時帰休を実施するなどの対策を発表した。
 シュワルツェネッガー知事は約190億ドル(約1兆7000億円)の財政赤字を抱える州財政を「財政崩壊」寸前と表現し、「わが州は現金が不足している。この状況ではわたしが署名できる予算が議会で成立するまで、再び州職員に一時帰休してもらうしかわたしには選択肢がない」と声明を発表した。
 一時帰休は8月から実施され、州職員に1か月につき3回の金曜日に無給休暇を取らせる。予算案が通過し、州財政当局が十分な現金があることを確認するまで継続するとしている。
 対象から除外されるのは、カリフォルニア・ハイウェイ・パトロール(California Highway Patrol)とカリフォルニア州森林火災予防局(California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)を含む公共の安全に関連する部署、および州税務局など歳入関連部門のみ。
 カリフォルニア州は現金を節約するため学校や州内の自治体への支払いを遅らせるなど、すでに「尋常ではない施策」を採用している。しかし財政危機は深まる一方で、予算成立のめどは立っていない。このため新たな現金不足を回避するために8月にも「IOU」と呼ばれる借用証の発行を余儀なくされるかもしれないとも述べた。
 米国で最も人口の多いカリフォルニア州だが、経済危機と税収減少で財政難に陥っている。シュワルツェネッガー知事は貧困層に対する行政サービスを大幅に削減するなどの内容を盛り込んだ予算案を提案していた。


---米カリフォルニア州知事、財政めぐり非常事態宣言---
2010年 07月 29日 09:54 JST
http://jp.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idJPJAPAN-16490620100729

 [サンフランシスコ 28日 ロイター] 米カリフォルニア州のシュワルツェネッガー知事は28日、州の財政をめぐって非常事態を宣言した。
 同知事は、州の赤字は190億ドルに達するとして、議会に対し1カ月以上も成立が遅れている予算案について議論を進めるよう求めた。
 赤字の規模は、シュワルツェネッガー知事が昨年7月に署名した2009/10年度(2010年6月終了)一般予算850億ドルの22%に相当し、カリフォルニア州の歳入がリセッション(景気後退)や住宅不況、金融危機を受け、また高失業率による所得税の減少で、急激に落ち込んだことを示している。
 シュワルツェネッガー知事は非常事態宣言に合わせ、州の公務員に対し、8月から毎月3日の無給休暇を取るよう命じた。
 カリフォルニア州では、シュワルツェネッガー知事と有力議員の間の財政再建策をめぐる対立から今年度予算の成立が5週間も遅れており、支出が承認されない状態が続いている。


---Firefighters gain ground against blazes in Kern County, California---
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 29, 2010 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/07/29/california.wildfires.progress/?hpt=T2#fbid=SFFx-OtUu90

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Hundreds of fire personnel appeared to be making progress against wildfires ripping across Kern County, California.

The southern California community was hit this week by two wildfires 60 miles apart: the Bull Fire, southeast of the town of Tehachapi, and the West Fire, north of Tehachapi in the Sequoia National Forest.

Fire and forestry officials reported little fire activity in the Bull Fire overnight, though the blaze still was burning in grass and brush on both sides of the Kern River. The Bull Fire is 12 percent contained, and has burned more than 16,000 acres.

Thursday, crews will continue to mop up the fire line on the southern edge of the fire to make sure no hot spots remain. And crews will continue the construction of a fire line along the western and eastern flanks, as well as the northern perimeter, to stop the fire's spread. Helicopters and air tankers will be on hand to support crews working on the ground.

The Bull Fire hasn't prompted evacuations. Eight homes and six outbuildings have been destroyed in the Bull Fire.

Fire officials revised the number of structures destroyed by the West Fire to 25, down from 30 to 40, according to CNN affiliate KTLA. Most were homes.

The West Fire has burned more than 1,400 acres. It was 25 percent contained Wednesday night, according to Kern County fire officials. Lower temperatures and calmer winds made firefighting efforts a little easier. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told CNN affiliate KTLA that if the weather continued to cooperate, they expected to have the West Fire fully contained by Friday.

A task force made up of law enforcement personnel from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Kern County Fire Department, and the Kern County Sheriff's Office was formed to investigate the Bull Fire. The task force, which was following up on multiple tips called in by residents, has set up a tip line for anyone with information pertaining to the start of the Bull Fire:.

Wednesday, California Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger declared a state of emergency for Kern County.

An evacuation center was set up at the old junior high school in Tehachapi for evacuees and their pets. Animal control was taking large animals, authorities said. Hundreds of people are still evacuated out of the path of the West Fire.

One Kern County evacuee told CNN affiliate KTLA, she was evacuating when the fire exploded nearby propane tanks in quick succession. "It was just terrifying," she said.

Visitors and residents are warned to keep their car and house windows closed, as there is a lot of smoke in the area, said U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Michelle Puckett. Puckett said wildfires can be sparked by people using off-road vehicles and lawn equipment during midday. She said that using such equipment during early morning and evening, when temperatures are lower and humidity is higher, can help minimize the risk of starting a fire.

The Sequoia National Forest of 1.2 million acres is one of 19 national forests in California. It takes its name from the giant sequoia, the world's largest tree, which grows in more than 30 groves on the forest's lower slopes.

This is a prime time for tourism in the area, with no vacancies at hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, Puckett said.

Kern County is approximately 130 miles north of Los Angeles.


---California budget 'emergency': bid to recoup $6 billion in pensions---
By Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer / July 29, 2010
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0729/California-budget-emergency-bid-to-recoup-6-billion-in-pensions

The annual California budget crisis led Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to declare a 'state of emergency' Wednesday. But the declaration is really a ploy to pressure unions, experts say.

Los Angeles
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency over California’s finances Wednesday and ordered three days off without pay per month for tens of thousands of state employees.

The tactic is being seen less as a move to preserve cash than to pressure state legislators to negotiate a state budget that is more than a month overdue and needs to close a $19 billion gap.

"Without a budget in place that addresses our $19 billion budget deficit, every day of delay brings California closer to a fiscal meltdown," Governor Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "Our cash situation leaves me no choice but to once again furlough state workers until the legislature produces a budget I can sign," he wrote.

Schwarzenegger's declaration noted the state's government is projected to run out of cash no later than October should its budget stalemate persist as expected.

But analysts call the emergency declaration a political pressure tactic.

“The furlough idea is a tactic to try to get the unions to negotiate more favorable contracts,” says Tony Quinn, a former GOP legislative aide and co-editor of California Target Book. He says the very generous pensions handed out under previous Gov. Gray Davis are costing the state $6 billion annually.

“These contracts were decided back when no one ever thought the housing prices or stock market would drop and are now costing the state enormous sums of money," he says. "Schwarzenegger is trying to get these people to go along with whatever leverage he has.”

The move puts pressure on both parties, says Barbara O'Connor, director emeritus of the Institute for Study of Politics and Media at California State University, Sacramento.

“It creates enormous pressure for the Democrats to finally come to the table with a consensus proposal,” she says. Right now, she says, they are floating one idea in the state Assembly and a different one in the Senate. “This move creates havoc, and out of havoc usually comes forced consensus,” says Ms. O’Connor.

Meanwhile, the governor is at an economic summit in San Diego with business leaders who are getting close to wanting to be out campaigning for fall elections. A Field Poll released Thursday shows Attorney General Jerry Brown and Sen. Barbara Boxer with narrow leads for governor and US Senate respectively, but also shows a large number of undecided voters.

“There are a ton of undecideds out there and so there will be lots of unhappy campers out there on the campaign trail if we don’t have a state budget,” says O’Connor.

Besides political consequences, there are fiscal drawbacks to the state's instability as well.

“These yearly crises are a significant negative for California’s ability to compete for entrepreneurs and talent," says Stephen Levy, Director and Senior Economist of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto. "As the years drag on, more and more people think of California as the state that can’t or won’t get its act together,” he says.

The worrisome state of California's finances extends beyond business, says Jack Kyser, Chief Economic Advisor at the Southern California Association of Governments. “People are concerned about the long-term impact on California … on education, especially the University of California," and on transportation and other infrastructure spending, he says.

There is talk among analysts that there may be no state budget until Schwarzenegger leaves office in January. But one silver lining could be that voters might evaluate the wisdom of California’s high requirement to pass a budget - two-thirds of the legislature. And if they are angry at legislators, things could change.

“This requirement may be reduced to a simple majority if Prop. 25 passes in November,” notes Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies. “Polls show [Prop. 25] has 60 percent support because it contains a provision that forfeits all legislative pay forever during the time the budget is overdue.”

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