Villaraigosa: 'A $16 billion deficit? Come on, everybody.'

Villaraigosa.jpgFinally, a little outrage from an elected official over the monster budget shortfall that the state faces next year. From the Daily News:

"We have to start asking questions. We can't continue to cut for 10 years running," Villaraigosa said. "The size of state government and the budget is smaller today than when when I left 12 years ago. It's smaller than the state of New York and we have 20 percent more people. You cannot continue to cut at this level." The mayor said he believes officials have to take their case to the public. "We have to say to Californians it is time to start investing in our state," Villaraigosa said.

Villaraigosa was also not happy with suggestions from local labor unions that the city is engaged in some sort of war on women because a round of proposed layoffs skews heavily female. The mayor said that the accusation is "so outrageous it doesn't deserve an answer." From KPCC:

A representative for the city administrative officer said it is impossible to calculate how many women would be impacted by the proposed 231 layoffs because of the city's complicated system of letting employees go. A Villaraigosa budget official agreed that the city would not know the break down between men and women until after the Personnel Department completes its displacement calculations. Villaraigosa, speaking at a news conference outside of LAPD headquarters, criticized organized labor's negotiating tactic. "Those same people, when in negotiations with the CAO Miguel Santana, when asked would you rather defer - not take - your next two 5 percent increases and save the 230 plus jobs and not lay off those people, they said lay them off," the mayor said. "So, you know, it's what people do in desperate times. It's unfortunate and it is outrageous."

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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