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California Budgt Deal: Schwarzenegger, Legislature Agree On Plan To Close $26B Budget Deficit

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United States
07/21/2009 05:06 AM
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California Budgt Deal: Schwarzenegger, Legislature Agree On Plan To Close $26B Budget Deficit
[link to www.huffingtonpost.com]
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California's legislative leaders agreed Monday on a plan to close the state's $26 billion budget shortfall, potentially getting the state back on firm financial ground so it can stop issuing IOUs.

The governor and leaders from both parties announced the compromise after more than five hours of closed-door talks. If the agreement survives its run through both houses of the Legislature, it would provide temporary relief to an epic fiscal crisis that has captured national attention, sunk the state's credit rating and forced deep cuts in education and social services.

Most analysts and top lawmakers expect that California will face multibillion dollar deficits into the foreseeable future as the economy struggles to recover and tax revenue lags far behind the level of the boom years.

On Monday, the focus was on balancing a state budget that had been thrown way out of whack by declining tax revenue since Schwarzenegger signed it in February during a rare emergency session of the Legislature.

Schwarzenegger and Republican lawmakers refused to raise taxes, limiting lawmakers' options. Democrats, meanwhile, had fought to preserve basic social services, including welfare, in-home support and health care for low-income children.