Here are some facts:
- The budget is 99 days overdue. PA and NY’s budgets were also-past due, but they were resolved long ago.
- According to reports, the state’s $19 billion budget gap is closed:
with what lawmakers call solutions and creative accounting tactics, some of which push off payments to the next fiscal year [MM: Sound familiar?]
- The deal was made possible by a recent ruling by the state’s Supreme Court. It upheld Governor Schwarzenegger’s mandate that 200,000 public employees take unpaid days off.
- The deal required $5.3 billion in federal aid. If we extrapolate the result from Sobel and Crowley, the federal aid may stimulate anywhere from $1.7 to $2.2 billion in new state taxes.
- Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported:
On the brink of insolvency, California may have to pay its bills with IOUs soon. A budget was due three months ago, and the legislature hasn’t passed one.
The lawmakers can, however, point to a list of other achievements this year. Awaiting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature, for example, is a bill that would bar the state from filming cows in New Zealand. It’s the fruit of five committee votes and eight legislative analyses.
California lawmakers also voted to form a lobster commission. They created “Motorcycle Awareness Month,” not to mention a “Cuss Free Week.”
And they kept the California state rock safe. Senate Bill 624 had sought to bust the rock, serpentine. Adamant opposition protected it, but sponsor Gloria Romero declared this “an issue we should address again.”