Blakeslee praises governor for special session

State Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, praised Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday for calling a special session to deal with a $6 billion budget shortfall, but warned that the state needs a long-term structural solution to its incessant budget woes.

“One thing is clear — the status quo strategy of slash-and-burn cuts will not fix California,” Blakeslee wrote in a news release. “We are long overdue for a serious re-evaluation of the role and operation of California government.”

The lame-duck governor’s call for a special session comes during a week filled with legislative activity. New state legislators were sworn in. Both Republican and Democratic caucuses are meeting to plan strategy. And Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is meeting with legislators.

Among the new legislators is Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who was elected in November to replace Blakeslee. Achadjian’s resignation Sunday from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors leaves that board with only four supervisors until January, when Paul Teixeira is sworn in.

Achadjian also was forced by law to resign from the California Coastal Commission, and Schwarzenegger is expected to fill that vacancy this week. San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson and Pismo Beach City Councilwoman Mary Ann Reiss are among those seeking to replace Achadjian.