Politics & Government

Schwarzenegger says Assembly is gutless over prison cuts

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called members of the Assembly gutless Wednesday for not passing his package to cut prison spending.

"They don't have the guts to now make these decisions because they're more worried about their safe seats rather than the safe streets," the governor said.

Hours later, the Assembly once again postponed taking a vote that had been expected to occur today on a prison plan. No new date was set.

Schwarzenegger's criticism came toward the end of an otherwise lighthearted online video interview that he taped with Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams.

Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico said he was offended. "If he's going to insult, if he's going to govern through Twitter, it's just ridiculous," the Newark Democrat said.

"His comments are not helpful," Torrico added. "If he's so anxious to release inmates, to put felons on the street, then he should do it on his own — and stop Twittering."

The Schwarzenegger-backed plan to cut prisons costs by $1.2 billion and reduce the inmate population by 27,300 in the next 10 months was narrowly approved last week in the Senate without any Republican votes, then stalled in the Assembly.

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