Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Tuesday that he planned to veto the state budget passed by the Legislature in the early hours of the day, setting the stage for an unprecedented confrontation in California’s Capitol.
“When they send me the budget, I will veto it,” Schwarzenegger said at a news conference.
A budget veto would be a first for modern California.
Schwarzenegger had warned lawmakers before they passed the spending plan, which was 78 days late, that he would reject it if it did not include three provisions to ensure the state a reliable rainy day fund for times of fiscal trouble. This year, California has developed a $15.2 billion budget gap.
The Legislature agreed to two of his three requests, but balked at one: putting more restrictions on lawmakers’ ability to raid the state’s reserves.
Rangel says he won’t step down
Rep. Charles Rangel will not step down as chairman of a powerful tax-writing committee as he undergoes an ethics investigation by fellow lawmakers, his lawyer said Tuesday.
The New York Democrat has faced increasing questions about his future, as Republicans urge his removal from the House Ways and Means Committee over his personal finances, including unreported income on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic that has led to his owing an estimated $5,000 in back taxes.
FAA accused of lax safety practices
Government regulators rushed to approve the design of a new small jet in 2006 despite widespread concerns about technology problems and compromised safety, according to testimony to be delivered before Congress today.
The Eclipse EA-500, a six-seat jet that is carrying passengers at an innovative air carrier based in Florida, has been in service less than two years but has already suffered a near-crash linked to a poorly designed computerized throttle as well as numerous other minor failures, according to federal data.
This is the second time in six months that the Federal Aviation Administration has been singled out for lax safety practices. The FAA acknowledged in April that its managers allowed Southwest Airlines to make thousands of flights on jets without performing critical, mandatory safety inspections.
FAA and Eclipse Aviation insist the jet is safe and was properly certified.
House Transportation Committee investigators found “a disturbing suggestion that there was a “cozy relationship” and reduced level of vigilance on the FAA’s part,” according to a report obtained by USA Today.