Governor Promotes Budget Plans for Healthcare, Prisons, Education
California's Governor came to San Diego today to drum up support for his state budget. At a town hall meeting in Balboa Park Schwarzenegger defended his economic plan with vigor and ease. KPBS reporte
Gloria, the Governor knows how to work a crowd. He defended, persuaded and sold.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger acted the expert salesman as he pitched his $146 billion budget to teachers, business people and seniors.
Schwarzenegger : Selling my movies and marketing my movies, and now I'm selling policy and ideas, everything you do you need to market and sell because you can have the best product in the world but if the people don't know about it you have nothing.
So the Governor is bringing his budget to the people. Last week he was in Northern California, today, San Diego.
Schwarzenegger pledged more money for technical education, more prison beds to address overcrowding and more money to ensure the state has an adequate long term water supply. And he spent lots of time hawking his plan to expand health care for Californians.
Bob Prath, AARP Volunteer : As you're aware, the top priority of our three-and-a-half million members is health care reform this year in California.
Schwarzenegger : You have right now a situation where people who are uninsured because they can't use the doctor they are going to the emergency rooms and they're crowing up the emergency rooms for things they shouldn't be in the emergency room, they should be in the doctor’s office but because they have no insurance they're in the emergency room.
The Governor's plan calls for mandatory health coverage for all Californians, with employers, government and individuals sharing the cost.
Schwarzenegger delivered a skillful performance, answering questions for an hour from the PTA, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and AARP. His ‘Governor of the People’ persona clearly winning this crowd.
Schwarzenegger : I want to open it up and everyone ask me a question because it should be free, anyone want to ask me about my great wife?
The tougher sell is still ahead for Schwarzenegger in the Legislature. Republicans are worried his budget will run the state deeper in debt and Democrats don't like the billions in cuts.
The deadline for the Legislature to pass the budget is June 15th.