Thursday, August 23, 2007
After weeks of gridlock, the California Senate approved a $145 billion budget late Tuesday, Aug. 21, ending the 52-day stalemate.
The state Assembly passed a nearly identical spending plan on July 20. But up until Tuesday, only one Senate Republican—Central Coast Sen. Abel Maldonado—had voted for the budget, which had won the support of legislative Democrats and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. It narrowly passed on a vote of 27 to 12, winning only two Republican votes from Maldonado and minority leader Dick Ackerman of Irvine. Salinas Sen. Jeff Denham voted against the budget.
To convince Republicans to support the deal, Schwarzenegger promised to veto the $700 million deficit when the budget reached his desk. He hasn’t said where he will make those cuts.
The GOP also won protections for local government development projects from lawsuits over global warming.
Republicans did concede other demands, however, including attempts to cut social services and insistence that Schwarzenegger outline all of his cuts.
Shortly after the Senate approved the deal, Schwarzenegger praised lawmakers for passing a spending plan that doesn’t raise taxes and reduces the state’s deficit. “This budget fully funds education and public safety, and allows us to move forward with the infrastructure bond measures that voters approved last year,” he said. “We now will move forward on issues such as health care, a comprehensive water plan, and redistricting reform.”