Today is the true beginning of the year, as far as government, schools and other such agencies are concerned. But there's not a lot of reason to break out the bubbly and confetti.
There's still no state budget in Sacramento — and while that might not exactly be new for our dysfunctional Legislature, it's still news. And another Fail.
Whatever compromise eventually comes together and is signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it will likely mean more pain for school districts such as Tracy Unified, which have already had to lay off teachers, cut community favorite programs and increase class sizes.
The outlook is gloomy for cities, too. Tracy projects a deficit next year, unless there's some miraculous economic turnaround that no one expects.
In fact, things are likely to get worse before they get better. Not only is the economy not likely to turn around, but federal stimulus money that has been pouring into state, city and school coffers isn't going to run forever.
Yup. It looks like a bleak new year.