California lawmakers wrap up 2-year legislative session; still no budget

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In Sacramento last night California state lawmakers wrapped up a two-year legislative session — without a state budget in place.

California legislators ran out the final hours on the legislative clock debating and voting on two opposing budgets that were doomed to fail. That's because a budget bill in California requires a two-thirds majority to pass and neither plan had that level of support.

Democrats rejected the Republicans’ plan – because it relies mostly on program cuts to close California's $19 billion deficit. It eliminates CalWorks, the state welfare to work program, and reduces childcare and in-home support services for elderly and disabled Californians.

Republicans voted against the Democrats’ plan because it relies on $4 billion worth of tax revenues – a new tax on oil companies, a delay in corporate tax breaks and a complex "reform" to personal income tax, designed to generate a billion dollars more in state revenues.

Now that lawmakers have finished their speeches and cast all their votes, California will continue to operate without a budget – and with the prospect of credit rating downgrades and IOUs to pay the bills.