Legislature Prepares for Budget Vote
The Budget Conference Committee on Saturday voted 4-2, along party lines, to send a fiscal year 2006-2007 budget to the full Assembly and Senate for approval, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. It was unclear on Saturday how much the budget would amount to.
Both houses are scheduled to vote on the budget Thursday, the state constitutional deadline to approve a budget. If the budget is approved, it would mark the first on-time passage of a spending plan in two decades.
The budget does not include some of the core components of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) May budget revision but includes additional funds to expand children's health care programs.
However, Republicans and Democrats still disagree on several points. Republicans support greater debt repayment and funds for hiring 50 new judges, while Democrats support greater increases to health care spending and park maintenance, while saving more of a $7.5 billion windfall for unexpected costs. Democrats also proposed reducing Schwarzenegger's $400 million disaster preparedness plan (Davis, AP/Contra Costa Times, 6/12).