Budget deal may have been reached

September 18, 2008 7:12:27 PM PDT
It's 80 days late, but it appears a state budget deal has finally been reached. Lawmakers announced the agreement late this afternoon that includes several concessions demanded by the governor.

According to the governor's office, they are saying, "It appears there is an agreement." Legislative leaders have found a way to stop the governor from vetoing the state budget. When they met with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) of California on Thursday, they got it clear he wanted two things fixed.

The state reserves were too easy to raid and the accounting gimmicks published California families too much. Given that the state budget is three months late and lots of state funded services are hanging by a thread literally, the leaders caved.

They gave the governor the following: tighter controls on the state's rainy day fund, eliminating the proposal that temporarily withheld an extra 10 percent from people's paychecks, doubling the penalty for corporations that underreport their taxes, and removing the tax amnesty program for them to collect taxes from dead beats.

Leaders are relived a deal has been reached.

"I'm glad it's over and I don't think any of us, like I said before, would put this on a highlight reel, but it is 80 days late, real people are getting hurt, the governor is absolutely convinced that the best thing to do is veto it. That would set us back lord knows how long," said State Senator Don Perata (D) of Oakland.

"We will be voting on the compromise that the five of us agreed to this morning and hopefully this will bring an end to the 80 plus painful days in the state of California that we have gone without a budget," said Assembly speaker Karen Bass (D) of Los Angeles.

The leaders will meet with the governor once again on Friday to make sure he is happy. Keep in mind he's known for adding last-minute demands, but barring that, late afternoon votes are scheduled for Friday and once the governor signs the budget California can start paying its bills and state services can receive their money.


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