Lawmakers Expected To Miss Today’s Deadline To Pass Budget Package
For the 19th time in 20 years, California lawmakers are expected to miss the June 15 deadline for passing the state budget, the Sacramento Bee reports.
A 10-member Assembly and Senate conference committee has met nearly every day for more than a week to craft a budget compromise that could be introduced in their respective chambers. The committee has yet to reach agreement on whether the budget plan should include program cuts or a series of tax reforms (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 6/15).
On Monday afternoon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) met with four leaders of the Legislature to discuss budget issues (Goldmacher, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 6/14).
Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting:
- $750 million from the state's In-Home Supportive Services program;
- $532 million from Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program; and
- $15 million from Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program.
Schwarzenegger's budget plan also calls for the elimination of CalWorks, California's welfare program (California Healthline, 5/28).
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have proposed $4.9 billion in additional taxes on alcohol, corporations, income and vehicles.
Assembly Democrats have proposed borrowing $9 billion in future revenue from the state's container recycling program, imposing a tax on oil production and suspending about $2 billion in scheduled corporate tax breaks.
The conference committee could use a simple majority vote to create a budget proposal without Republican input. However, passage of the budget would require two-thirds majority approval in the Assembly and Senate.
Sen. Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego) said she is hopeful the committee will create a proposal by July 1 (Sacramento Bee, 6/15).
"If we want to close California's budget gap once and for all, we need to cut wasteful spending, bring more jobs to California and maximize the dollars that come to Sacramento without raising taxes," Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Moorpark) writes in a Ventura County Star opinion piece.
Strickland writes thatÂ "we need to do more than increase taxes, cut spending or shift money from one government program to another." He adds, "Instead, we need to create incentives for companies to move their businesses to California and put hard-working Californians back to work" (Strickland, Ventura County Star, 6/14).
Headlines and links for broadcast coverage of the budget deadline are provided below.
- "Governing California: Budget Update and Reform" (Myers, "Forum," KQED, 6/15).
- "State Constitutional Budget Deadline Comes and Goes" (O'Mara, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 6/15).