California lawmakers finally passed a state budget early Friday morning. It’s a record 100 days late. Governor Schwarzenegger says he’ll sign the bill as soon as Friday night. But before he does, he’ll cut nearly a billion more in state spending.
Governor Schwarzenegger says the sooner he signs the budget, the sooner California can borrow cash to pay the bills – and avoid IOUs.
“We want to do this as quickly as possible, sign the budget, go out and get the money,” Schwarzenegger said.
But before he signs, Schwarzenegger will wield his “blue pencil” – his line-item veto power – and cut another $900 million in state spending.
The budget already includes $7 billion in cuts; it counts on increased state revenues and more federal dollars to close the rest of the state government’s multi-billion dollar deficit.
But the spending plan sets aside only $200 million in cash. The governor says that’s not enough for a state with a $100 billion budget.
Schwarzenegger’s staff has already identified where the governor can find $900 million to cut. The governor says he will make the cuts and sign the budget within a day.
“We’re going to work on it because everything is now. We don’t want to hold it up. The people have waited a hundred extra days. They were very patient,” Schwarzenegger said.