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California Finally Passes State Budget, 85 Days Late

By Paul Bright     Sep 23, 2008 in Politics
They listened to him now and believed him about later: the California congress finally presented a budget that Schwarzenegger was able to sign.
Ordinarily the California state Budget proposal is due on the first of July every year. This year, however, California missed the deadline by a record 85 days, costing hundreds of jobs and pay cuts along the way. But today, Governor Schwarzenegger finally was able to sign a proposal.
The budget consists of a $143 billion plan that closed the $15 billion shortfall earlier proposals had.
More importantly, there was reform in the budget structure that prevents California from borrowing future money to pay past debts, an issue that caused California to go into serious debt in the first place.
"While California is certain to face a difficult budget situation again next year, this budget does not take money out of people’s paychecks or borrow from voter-approved local government or transportation funds, and it includes real budget reform with teeth," Governor Schwarzenegger said. “These budget reforms, when approved by voters, will finally put California’s budget on a path toward long-term fiscal stability."
The true reform was so important that when the California Congress finally agreed upon a budget plan and sent it to Schwarzenegger last month, he rejected it based on lack of fundamental structure changes.
Schwarzenegger was very adamant about getting the budget passed. He refused to allow any congressional members make appearances at either the Democratic or Republican conventions until the budget was completed, to include his own scheduled appearance to speak on behalf of Senator McCain. He also cut out temporary and seasonal state jobs and reduced many state employees and managers to minimum wage pay rates, hoping to stave off any future debt. That saved $340 million in the budget since it took so long to be passed.
He also made moves over the weekend to further strengthen his position on budget reform. Schwarzenegger reduced the General Fund, long-thought abused by lawmakers, by $510 million
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