Schwarzenegger reaches deal on Calif. budget

July 28, 2004|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

LOS ANGELES - California will probably have a budget in place by the end of the week for the fiscal year that began July 1, but the bruises from a month of difficult negotiations between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders may take far longer to heal.

The Republican governor and lawmakers agreed on a $103 billion state budget late Monday night, ending a 26-day impasse that signaled an end to Schwarzenegger's legislative honeymoon in Sacramento.

The budget contains no new taxes, fulfilling a pledge by Schwarzenegger, and it relies heavily on borrowing, accounting maneuvers and one-time deals with local governments, colleges and public school districts.

Schwarzenegger had promised a budget by the June 30 deadline, but was unable to deliver after negotiations deteriorated into name-calling and partisan wrangling. Ten days ago, in frustration, Schwarzenegger used the term "girlie men" to describe Democrats who refused to go along with his spending plan.

But in announcing the accord late Monday night, the governor changed his tone.

"We proved again that by working together, Democrats and Republicans, we can make the impossible possible." A vote on the budget is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow. Schwarzenegger is expected to sign it on Saturday.

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