Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday that he wants the state to ease its budget woes by borrowing up to $15 billion through a bond issue.
He said he wants the Legislature — which was to go into special session later in the day — to bring the question before voters by putting a bond issue measure on the March ballot.
In his first news conference since taking office Monday, the Republican governor also said he wants lawmakers to offer voters a state spending limit that would "never again to allow politicians to overspend" and a government reform package that will "allow sunshine into the darkest corner of state government."
"Write and call your legislators and let them know that you want action, and you want action now," he told voters.
He said lawmakers should also find an additional $11 billion in savings in the workers' compensation system and find a way to compensate local governments for the approximately $4 billion they lost when he rolled back a tripling of the vehicle license fee.
Reversing the unpopular car tax increase was Schwarzenegger's first move after he was sworn in Monday. He also called lawmakers into the special session to deal with the budget, workers' compensation and a new law allowing illegal immigrants to get drivers' licenses, which the governor opposes.
Schwarzenegger also announced he would not accept a salary for his service as state governor, reports CBS News Correspondent Chris Lawrence.
Political observers agree that keeping his pledge to fix the state's beleaguered economy will be a formidable task for the political newcomer, who faces a budget deficit he estimates at more than $24 billion and a business climate he has cast as the nation's worst.
Despite his overwhelming win in the Oct. 7 recall election that ousted Gray Davis, Schwarzenegger also faces a Democrat-dominated Legislature that may not grant his wishes.
"He's got a tough challenge on his hands," said former Republican governor George Deukmejian, who attended Schwarzenegger's swearing-in ceremony Monday. "I don't envy him."
With his wife, Maria Shriver, holding a Bible, Schwarzenegger, 56, took the oath of office from California's chief justice in a short ceremony on the steps of the state Capitol.
An immigrant from Austria who arrived in the United States 35 years ago as a body builder dreaming of fame and fortune, Schwarzenegger invoked former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan and called himself "an idealist without illusions."
"Perhaps some think this is fanciful or poetic, but to an immigrant like me, who, as a boy, saw Soviet tanks rolling through the streets of Austria, to someone like me who came here with absolutely nothing and gained absolutely everything, it is not fanciful to see this state as a golden dream," Schwarzenegger said.
The ceremony was devoid of much of the usual inaugural pageantry. Bitterness over the recall vote and the state's financial troubles prompted Schwarzenegger to push for a more low-key ceremony.
Nevertheless, the inauguration had 7,500 invited guests, plus several thousand people watching from the street, and drew such celebrities as Dennis Miller, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny DeVito, Rob Lowe and Vanessa Williams. Hundreds of journalists from around the globe covered the event, some from Schwarzenegger's native Austria.
In addition to his actions on the car tax Monday, Schwarzenegger suspended implementation of new state regulations and called for a review of all regulations adopted, amended or repealed during Davis' administration.
Democrats, still the state's dominant party, have said that they will be willing to give the new governor a chance — but most observers agree political good will is not a lasting commodity.