State Budget

February 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
After an all night session, state legislators still haven't passed a compromise that will close California's $42-billion dollar shortfall. They are still in session right now. After meeting all night, and into the midmorning, legislators were finally given a break at 10:00 am Sunday. It's been a struggle to find two-thirds of the senate vote needed to pass the budget and time, may be running out.

It was a long night of frantic negotiations, and legislative leaders are exhausted. They've been at the State Capital for more than 24-hours....unable to leave....until they can pass a bill that will close California's $42-billion-dollar budget gap.

The State Assembly has the votes they need. But, the senate is still one vote short of passing the deal. Many blame Senator Dave Cox of Fair Oaks, who up until a day ago, was planning to vote yes and for unknown reasons, has now said, he will vote no.

Legislators spent Saturday night voting on several supporting bills, but have failed to vote on the overall budget because of tax hike concerns.

Those tax proposals include raising the state sales tax by a penny, adding a 12 cent gasoline tax and nearly doubling the vehicle license fee.

There's also a proposal to increase state income taxes by five-percent, reduce the amount taxpayers can claim on a dependent care credit from $300 to $100 dollars, and redirect more than $200 million dollars of tribal gambling revenue from the department of transportation to the general fund.

Combined, these tax proposals would generate more than $14-billion dollars in revenue.

There are also more than $15-billion-dollars in cuts, with education taking the biggest hit.

Earlier in the week, Governor Schwarzenegger threatened to lay off up to 20,000 state workers if the budget is not passed by this weekend.

Schwarzenegger spent much of the night trying to convince reluctant republicans to vote yes.

We will be staying on this story all night, and will have updates on the state budget live at 11:00pm

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