Archive for Saturday, February 21, 2009

Schwarzenegger signs bills to close deficit

February 21, 2009


— California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state’s legislative leaders spent more than three months — and one final, agonizing week — to find a way to plug California’s $42 billion budget hole.

As painful as that process was, they now face a potentially tougher challenge: persuading voters to agree with their solution.

Schwarzenegger on Friday signed a package of 34 bills designed to close the shortfall, the end of a monthslong impasse that culminated in marathon sessions last week by the state’s legislative leaders. But the budget compromise requires voter approval of five ballot measures during a May 19 special election.

The measures would set a cap on state spending and institute a rainy day fund, authorize the state to sell bonds based on future lottery revenue, shift money from certain social programs and guarantee billions more for schools.


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