California Legislature Finally Passes Budget

Published by: Ronnie on 8th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by Ronnie


California Legislature Finally Passes Budget

Following a heated, partisan standoff that lasted nearly 100 days, both chambers of the California state legislature passed an $87.5 billion budget package on Friday. The budget outlines an array of spending cuts and makes some long-term changes to state pensions with the goal of cutting into the state's $19 billion deficit.

The budget will now be sent to the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he is expected to sign it into law. Assembly Speaker John Perez said the budget is far from perfect, but it reflects the compromises necessary to reach the two-thirds legislative majority required by state law.

Among the spending cuts in the budget is a more than $3 billion reduction in education spending for the current fiscal year, though legislators said that close to $2 billion of that would be restored in 2011.

Critics of the budget say that it does little to address the state's long-term financial problems and will almost certainly leave the state with another severe deficit in 2011. California's continuing financial crises have been a key issue in the political race to replace Schwarzenegger, whose term is drawing to a close.

The state has been suffering through the budget crisis since the early part of the summer. The budget was originally intended to be in place by the middle of June, before the new fiscal year began on July 1st. The state's financial troubles have caused a number of state employees to be placed on furlough and legislators are contemplating deferring payments to thousands more.

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