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100 Days Later, California's Legislature Finally Passes a State Budget
On the 100th day of the fiscal year, the California legislature finally approved a budget after both houses suffered through overnight sessions lasting more than 20 hours. The Assembly approved the $87.5 billion spending plan before 6 a.m. and the Senate at 8:25 a.m.
In theory, the budget will fix the state's $19 billion budget shortfall, but with projections -- some are calling these overly optimistic -- that rely on taxpayer revenues and money from the federal government.
Much of the budget dealings and stalling was over pensions.
"Now let's be clear, this is not a perfect budget," Assembly Speaker John Perez (D - Los Angeles) said. "In the era of the Great Recession, there is no such thing as a perfect budget."
Indeed it wasn't perfect, nor was it timely -- this is the longest California has been without a budget. It was also pushed through fast with tax breaks for various companies.
"The core budget bills were made available to lawmakers only hours before scheduled votes, and some legislators expressed frustration that they were not able to sort out all the details of the bills," explained the LA Times.
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) reacted by saying, "I simply can't vote under these circumstances."
Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to sign the budget, possibly tonight, once his staff works their way through it.
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