California lawmakers agree on a budget

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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses the legislature's failure to pass a state budget plan, during a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. File photo.

California’s leaders agreed on a budget Friday evening and not a moment too soon. The state’s been without a spending plan for a record 94 days.

The Big 5, the four leaders of California’s legislature and the governor, emerged from five hours of talks Friday with good news. They shook hands on a plan to close California’s $19 billion deficit

It's a plan Republican leaders described as “tax free” and one that Democrats say won’t eliminate any social welfare programs.

Legislative leaders refused to say much more about the agreement.

They plan to hold a hearing on the spending plan next Wednesday and put the measure to a full vote on Thursday.

California’s controller warned that if the legislature fails to enact the plan next week he'll be forced to issue IOU's to pay the bills.

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