California is at the brink. Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger stated that the state will “face insolvency within weeks.” Come February, there simply won’t be enough money to pay the bills. Earlier this morning the California state controller released his plan for keeping the state operating, which includes painful measures like delaying financial aid payments to college students, and withholding the payments that the disabled, the elderly, the blind, and the very poor depend on.
These delays – right now for 30 days but contingent on a budget resolution – will have devastating effects for Californians. We’ve written before about how state budget delays gamble students’ ability to go to college, and it’s getting hard to remember the times when the state has made good on its promise of college affordability in a timely way. But these delays take the gamble to a whole new level, putting Californians’ futures, health, and lives in jeopardy.
It is not noble to adhere to rigid political ideologies when lives are in the balance. All sides need to compromise and resolve the budget crisis as soon as possible.