Lawmakers Reject Budget Fix

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Both houses voted down a bill that would have cut state programs by roughly eleven billion dollars.  Democrats said it made sense to begin with cuts that both sides could agree on.  But Republicans said it didn’t cut deep enough.  They want something closer to Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal, which eliminates some welfare programs.  Senate GOP Leader Dennis Hollingsworth:

“All of the cuts that were rejected by the majority party are unfortunately things that have to be done.  We can’t afford some of those things when we’re talking about revenues that are back to where we were in 1999 or 2000.

As lawmakers were rejecting the plan on a mostly party-line vote, the state controller issued a warning:  Unless lawmakers come up with a solution within a few days, he’ll have to issue IOU’s instead of payments to contractors and local governments.  Democratic Senate Leader Darrel Steinberg says that adds to the pressure:

“That’s why the absence of a plan from our republican colleagues that adds up to 24 billion one week before the deadline is frankly troubling.”

Lawmakers from both parties continue to say a budget fix before the end of the month is possible.