Sixty-three days after it began, California's budget crisis is over. Well, sort of. Let's just say the crisis has been put on hold till next year.
After Gov. Pete Wilson signed the $57 billion budget (yes, VTC California's annual spending program is that big -- more than the combined budgets of Greece, Finland and Ireland), state officials started figuring out ways to cash the $3.5 billion in IOUs that had been issued from Sacramento to pay state workers, vendors and nursing homes during the prolonged deadlock between the Democratic legislature and the Republican governor.
Mr. Wilson won his fight to reduce the amount of state spending rather than resorting to another round of big tax hikes, as the legislature had proposed. His insisted on a downsizing of government to bring expenses more in line with revenues. As a result, aid to localities will be curbed, as will welfare benefits. School aid in future years will be sharply reduced. College tuition will soar.