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Green Party state-of-state reaction: Governor needs to ignore big donors, and tackle budget problems by looking at energy crisis contracts, prisons, MediCal

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (January 9, 2008) - The Green Party of California Wednesday said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken a wrong turn yet again in his budget proposals that were the focus of his State-of-the-State message, and noted the state could save "billions of dollars" by taking a hard look at energy crisis contracts, MediCal and prisons.

Instead, Greens charged, the Governor continues to think first about his big special interest campaign donors, and not the people of California.

"The Governor is wasting billions by not ripping up contracts signed during the energy crisis and by paying full price for prescription drugs for MediCal patients. But he and the legislature won't dare do either of these things, because it would mean getting tough with big donors in the energy and pharmaceutical industries," said Erika McDonald, San Francisco Green Party spokesperson.

Former Green Party Lt. Governor candidate Donna Warren said the Governor is missing an obvious way to safely save billions by overhauling the troubled state prison system.

"He insists on building 53,000 more prison beds at a cost of $7.5 billion for non-violent offenders, and this is on top of a $10 billion prison budget. The $14 billion deficit could be wiped out by not sending non-violent offenders to prison for life under California's abhorrent 3 Strikes Law," said Warren, now campaign coordinator of Three Strikes Reform Act of 2008 Families to Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS).

And, Green Party union activist Hank Chapot chastised the Governor for being the source of the budget crisis, noting that "His fiscal problems are partly his own fault. While he's promoting forced health insurance for low-wage workers, he won't discuss raising taxes for the wealthy."

-30-

Contacts:
Crescenzo Vellucci, State Press Office, 916.996.9170,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles), 310.270.7106,
Dr. Bob Vizzard (Sacramento), 916.206.8953,
Daniel Brezenoff (Southern California), 310.422.2211,
Susan King (San Francisco), 415.823.5524,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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