What The New State Budget Brings To The Table

February 19, 2009 7:47:00 PM PST
Legislators hope the new deal boosts state programs and reassures workers of their job security.Republican legislator Mike Villines said everyone is 'sharing the pain' during this budget crisis. One Fresno State student who relies on state funds and hopes he can finish another semester in school now that a budget has been passed.

For student Elvis Martinez a Fresno State education would not be possible without Cal-Grant state funds for books, rent and even food.

"This coming semester I'm actually really worried. But the state passed a budget and I hope it's enough to go around," said Martinez.

Most of Martinez's school blues vanished Thursday when lawmakers ended their 106 day stalemate.

"This should be a wake up call to Californians and to legislature. You can not spend more than you have," said assembly minority leader Mike Villines (R.).

Villines, from Clovis, and other members of his party wanted a government spending cap included in the budget. After holding out for one year, it was finally included in this budget compromise.

"Everybody has a contribution. But in 2 years it should all be righted and then we have to make sure this legislature is responsible and living within its means," said Villines.

The new budget outline promises a way to live within government means through education reform, spending reductions and revenue increases like the cost of vehicle registration.

"The public, in general, was going to suffer because of all this inaction," said Larry Vallejo.

Vallejo has worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles for 14-years. He is glad Democrats and Republicans worked out their differences but Vallejo still faces a reduction in pay and shorter hours.

"We're all citizens of California and we're all willing to adjust. Just don't beat us up," said Vallejo

Nearly 300 public works projects would have been halted Thursday had a budget not passed. Already 10,000 state workers have been laid off.

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