Calif. budget impasse about to become longest ever

SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers are on the brink of setting a record, but it's not one that is likely to boost their abysmal approval ratings among voters.

While budget impasses in the Golden State have become as common as Santa Ana wildfires, Thursday marks the longest period ever that the Legislature has gone without approving a new state spending plan.

The outcome may not be resolved until after the November elections, the leader of the state Senate has suggested. Democrats and Republicans remain in a standoff over whether new taxes or more spending cuts are needed to close California's $19 billion deficit.

The impact of the delay hasn't been widely felt — yet. But that could change, beginning in October when available tax funds to pay bills will diminish.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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