Thursday, February 19, 2009
Both houses of the California legislature have approved a state spending plan.
Early this morning, the Senate passed a budget deal to eliminate California's $42-billion deficit.
The Assembly passed the budget shortly after.
The breakthrough happened after Democrats agreed to demands from Republican Senator Abel Maldonado in exchange for his vote on taxes. Maldonado understands he may face political backlash for his vote, but he says there are bigger issues at stake:
Moldonado: This is about the health a safety of the people of California. The vote I'm about to cast, might be one that will be with me for the rest of my life. But for many many Californias this budget is a real life and death situation.
Maldonado asked lawmakers for election changes and government reform. Leaders also agreed to his demand to get rid of the 12-cent-gas tax.