The L.A. Times reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking advantage of California’s budget crisis to ram through his pet reforms. Among the Governator’s big ideas: making it even harder for the starving poor to get food stamps. If Schwarzenegger doesn’t sign a budget by Thursday, the state will begin sending the poor, elderly and disabled IOUs instead of benefits.

Los Angeles Times:

The governor readily admits that he sees the crisis as a chance to make big changes to government — to “reform the system,” he said Friday — with proposals he has struggled to advance in the past.

Among them: reorganizing state bureaucracy, eliminating patronage boards and curbing fraud in social services that Democrats have traditionally protected. The governor also would like to move past the budget crisis to reach a deal on California’s water problems that has so far eluded him.

By agreeing to a partial budget solution such as one the Assembly approved Thursday, the governor would lose leverage to accomplish many of those things. Without the pressure of imminent insolvency, Democrats might be less likely to agree to his demands.

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