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Friday, October 8, 2010

California Has a Budget -- Only 100 Days Late

Posted By on Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 7:24 AM

click to enlarge The lady and the bear have been waiting a long time...
  • The lady and the bear have been waiting a long time...
Following an all-night session of wheeling and dealing -- and a record 100-day impasse -- the state senate moments ago approved a budget for California.

Details on the budget -- and the most recent impasse -- are forthcoming; it closes a $19 billion with no new taxes or fees and assumes billions in federal dollars will be sent California's way. It also warrants mentioning that the $87.5 billion general fund spending plan is a $16 billion drop from three years ago. 

The budget is expected to be signed by a groggy Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in short order. In sidestepping fees or taxes, it assumes an improvement in economic conditions that will bring in an additional $1.4 billion in tax revenue. The $5.3 billion the state is assuming will come its way from the federal government, by the way, would be a record.

SF Weekly's calls to legislators have not yet been returned.

click to enlarge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger posted this photo on his Twitter feed of himself on the phone with legislators at 1:30 a.m.
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger posted this photo on his Twitter feed of himself on the phone with legislators at 1:30 a.m.
Also a record: the 100-day interregnum between when the budget was due and today's breakthrough.

Update, 8:30 a.m.: San Francisco's Sen. Leland Yee was the sole Democrat to refuse to vote for the budget, which led to Pasadena Republican Tom Harman having to cast the deciding vote. Yee released a statement this morning: "While I appreciate the effort put in to develop a budget deal, I can not support further devastation to our schools, social services, and health care. The brutal reality is that many of our poor, elderly and most vulnerable individuals simply will not survive this budget."

Update, 8:55 a.m.: A sleep-deprived Mark Leno listed the following as silver linings in a dark cloud of a budget: Cuts "limited" to $7.5 billion down from the governor's original $12 billion proposal. Leno says this saved the state's welfare-to-work CalWorks program; In-Home Support Service programs; and numerous child-care provider businesses. He also claimed per-pupil spending on K-14 education (that'd be junior college) has grown by $56 from last year.  

He accused Republicans, however, of taking advantage of the state's two-thirds rule for passing budgets to "extort things they'd never get otherwise" -- namely tax cuts for businesses. Leno made a hearty pitch for Proposition 25, which would allow simple majorities to pass state budgets.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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