Legislators Approve Anxiously Awaited Budget

September 20, 2008 11:45:24 AM PDT
State legislators have approved a revised budget compromise that bridges a $15 billion dollar deficit without borrowing or new taxes. This time Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will sign the plan, though he acknowledged lawmakers still have a lot of work ahead. The budget is still three months late, and no one is really happy. "I don't see that much of a signing ceremony because there's really nothing to celebrate that much," said Schwarzenegger.The budget calls for more than $7 billion dollars in cuts on state spending but doesn't raise the state's sales tax like the governor recommended in his proposal. A controversial tax withholding plan is also gone. Though Republican Assemblyman Mike Villines agreed there is little to celebrate, he is glad his party held its ground. "We achieved our objectives as a republican party. That was to defend taxpayers. We have a budget with no taxes, no borrowing," said Villines.

Now that a budget has been agreed on, plans are underway to reopen 8 valley day cares that closed because of a lack of state funding. "This is lesson to everybody, and it's a travesty. It's not only hurting the brain development of the children, but it's also hurting the income of the families that have to stay home because they don't have any child care," said Javier Guzman with I-5 Social Services.

The pain is also being felt at the Sunnyside Convalescent Home. The state owes the home $800,000 and employees haven't received their full checks in three weeks. "I was to the point where if it wasn't passed, we probably would have considered moving residents out and closing the facility," said administrator Michael Fellen.

Though the budget crisis is over the governor says there is still work to be done. He wants a way to fix the state's ongoing budget battle that allows lawmakers to spend more than the state takes in. And then, there's next year's budget. "Frankly, we have a budget to roll out in 100 days. We need to be working next week," said Villines.

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