Legislature Approves Budget Before Deadline
The California Legislature has passed a spending plan that closes the state's remaining ten billion dollar deficit. The budget delays billions in payments to schools and cuts higher education and the court system. It also extends a sales tax increase and includes higher DMV fees. The budget was crafted by Democrats, but Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg acknowledged it was not his first choice. "This budget is not our preference. The Governor has pushed for a better plan and we support his plan. Maybe and hopefully, it can still get done," he said.
Gov. Jerry Brown's plan would have extended a series of tax increases. During the debate, GOP Senator Ted Strickland made sure to distance his party from the budget being voted on. He stated, "This is your majority vote budget. A budget's nothing more than a blueprint of your priorities. This budget is your priority because you drafted it. We were not a part of this process whatsoever, so you vote for this budget, you own it."
It's unclear whether Governor Jerry Brown will sign the budget.