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State Budget Beats Deadline, Future Uncertain

Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 6:02pm

For the second time in 25 years, the California legislature has passed a budget before the constitutional deadline. The spending plan approved Wednesday didn’t satisfy either political party.

The budget was crafted by Democrats as an alternative to Governor Jerry Brown’s plan. Brown’s proposal would have extended tax increases and required Republican votes. With no deal in sight, Democrats used their new majority vote power to pass a plan that delays billions in payments to schools. It also includes cuts to higher education and the court system.

Democratic Senator Mark Leno said, “this is indeed a very sobering moment in that this is not our choice of budget but it’s what we can do without support for the Governor’s proposal.” The Democratic plan also extends a sales tax increase and includes higher DMV fees.

Republicans – like Senator Bob Huff – were quick to distance themselves from it. “What we have before us today is a Democrat budget that reflects a Democrat vision – a vision for California that the Republicans do not share,” said Huff.

It’s unclear whether Governor Jerry Brown will sign the spending plan. He said in the past that without the tax extension, he would only sign an all-cuts budget.

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