Friday, August 17, 2012

Reagan and the 1970-1971 California budget battle

n. a. (1970, July 6). Reagan signs record high state budget. Lodi News-Sentinel, p. 2.

This article reports on how a small group of California Senate Democrats finally cracked to pass the state budget for 1970-1971.  Prior to this, Assembly Democrats had successfully blocked the legislation and were essentially forcing a state government shut down unless Reagan acquiesced to their demands for an additional $180 million dollars in state aid to local schools.  While the article--somewhat suspiciously--noted that the approved budget "included $15,000 in rent for Reagan's private leased residence in Sacramento" [emphasis added], the piece did acknowledge that Reagan's refusal to sign off on yet another expansion of state aid to schools came after he had, in fact, caved to Democratic demands for more school funding in the previous budget year (1969). 

Though acknowledging that seven senate Democrats ultimately voted for passage, the article makes special note of the "pressure" applied to Sens. Larry Walsh and Walter W. Stiern.  It is unclear why these two legislators merited this "special" journalistic treatment.

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