Schwarzenegger, Legislative Leaders Reach Budget Agreement
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and legislative leaders on Tuesday agreed on a state fiscal year 2005-2006 budget totaling about $117 billion that does not increase taxes and adds funding for some health care programs, the Los Angeles Times reports (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 7/6).
Although the budget deadline passed on Friday, the state should not miss any major payments now that lawmakers have reached an agreement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/6).
The proposed budget would:
- Allot an additional $20 million to increase nurse training programs through loan forgiveness to graduate-level nursing students, creating regional simulation laboratories to give students more access to clinical facilities and increasing slots in high-demand nursing programs within the California Community College system (Office of the Governor release, 7/5). Nurse training programs would receive $110 million in the budget (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/6);
- Maintain the state's contribution to wages for in-home support services workers, rather than reduce them to the minimum wage (Bluth, Sacramento Bee, 7/6); and
- Shift some Medi-Cal beneficiaries to HMO plans (Los Angeles Times, 7/6).
Schwarzenegger said, "This is a terrific budget for the future of California," adding, "It's a budget that we can all be proud of" (Sheppard, Los Angeles Daily News, 7/6).
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) said, "On the one hand, this budget is fiscally sound. On the other hand, this budget is compassionate. On the one hand, this budget deals with the deficit in the (next year). On the other hand, this budget protects the safety net for the poor, the children and the disabled" (Quach, Orange County Register, 7/6).
Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) said, "It would be a real shame and unnecessary if we could not do what we did today with the other issues facing the state. There is clearly a willingness here -- a lot of the philosophical differences were put aside -- to make compromises" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/6).
Other newspapers also included coverage of the budget agreement:
- "Governor, Lawmakers Reach Deal on Budget" (Folmar/LaMar, Contra Costa Times, 7/6).
- "State Leaders End Budget Impasse" (Mendel, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/6).