On the 100th day of the fiscal year, California lawmakers approved the tardiest budget in state history this morning after a marathon session at the Capitol.
The $87.5 billion spending plan relies on rosy assumptions about revenues from taxpayers and the federal government, as well as reductions to state worker pay, prisons, and social services. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger expects to sign it as soon as today, enacting the final budget of his gubernatorial career.
The package of spending bills had been held up in the upper house for hours as Democratic leaders tried to overcome the loss of three of their members - two to illness and one to a court date in Los Angeles. State leaders faced a $19 billion deficit that the result of faulty solutions in last year's budget, as well as a prolonged economic downturn and a permanent imbalance between how much California spends and how much it receives in revenues.
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