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Lawmakers Address Local Leaders About Budget

The budget mess in Sacramento is taking it’s toll on the Coachella Valley.

From tourism and agriculture — to redevelopment projects. The state is in a fiscal crisis — and the Valley is feeling the pain.

Wednesday, Assemblymen Brian Nestande and Manuel Perez met with the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership to talk about the dismal deficit.

“The state will run out of money probably at the end of next month. So if we don’t have a body at that point, we will be issuing IOUs again. That’s something we should not do and should not stand for,” said Assemblyman Nestande (R).

To deal with the shortfall, the state is taking tens of millions of dollars from Valley cities and their redevelopment agencies.

“When we’re laying off teachers with our local schools, when we’re laying off police officers and firefighters. When local governments are being raided of their funds. That’s troublesome for many of us,” said Assemblyman Perez (D).

Local officials and business leaders say they want to diversify the valley’s economy.

But the budget fiasco is making it harder.

“We’ve got to make it easier for businesses to come to California and specifically the Coachella Valley. We want to be business friendly. It’s got to be a business friendly atmosphere because we’ve got stiff competition from other parts of the state and other parts of the nation,” said Wesley Ahlgren, COO of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.

Lawmakers say the budget is their top priority.

But there may be disagreement over how close they are to finding a solution.

“There have been solutions already to decrease that deficit up to $11 billion already. That’s a good sign,” said Perez.

“They have to put in concrete writing ‘here’s the cuts we agree on.’ And that has not happened yet,” said Nestande.

KESQ News Team

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