Senate Approves $101B Budget, Debate Moves Back to Assembly
The state Senate early Sunday morning approved a $101 billion spending plan for 2001-02, sending the debate "back to the state Assembly," where a dispute over several trailer bills is holding up final passage of the budget, the Los Angeles Times reports. Two Republicans in the Senate joined all 26 Democrats in supporting the budget and its trailer bills. The Assembly, however, still needs to work out its differences, and it is "unlikely that Gov. Gray Davis (D) will sign" the budget, which is 23 days late, "until the legislation that accompanies it clears the Assembly," Davis spokesperson Hilary McClean said (Tamaki, Los Angeles Times, 7/23). On Monday, four Republican Assembly members joined Democrats to create the two-thirds majority necessary to approve the budget. Following that vote, however, the GOP members said they could not support the trailer bills needed to authorize some of the spending (Hill, Sacramento Bee, 7/21). One of the measures would provide funding to expand Healthy Families to parents of enrolled children. Republicans objected to the provision, saying it would expand funding for abortions (California Healthline, 7/20). The Assembly is expected to meet today or tomorrow to continue its deliberations (Salladay, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/23). Despite the impasse, Assembly GOP leaders said that the "Senate deal will ensure that most of the budget-related measures opposed by their members will be approved by the lower house this week" (Los Angeles Times, 7/23).