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California lawmakers face budget deadline

 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, surrounded by members of the Blue Ribbon Fire Commission, discusses the state's pending cash crisis at thE Capitol in Sac...
 Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, responds to a reporters question concerning the state's pending cash crisis during a news conference held...

California Budget

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, surrounded by members of the Blue Ribbon Fire Commission, discusses the state's pending cash crisis at thE Capitol in Sac...

California Budget

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, responds to a reporters question concerning the state's pending cash crisis during a news conference held...

A midnight deadline loomed Tuesday as California lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dueled over ways to cut into a $24.3 billion budget deficit or face having to issue promissory notes to cover the state's bills.
Democrats, the majority in both legislative houses, tried two approaches Monday but both failed to draw Republican support.
Voting almost totally along party lines, the state Senate approved a package of bills featuring spending cuts and fee and tax increases to close the deficit.
But the Republican governor quickly promised to veto the legislation, saying he wouldn't sign anything that raised taxes or fees more than he has proposed.
"They should forget about that," he said, accusing Democrats of going through a "song and dance. Let's get to work, fix it."
Hours later, Senate Democrats put up three stopgap spending cut bills that passed the Assembly last week with bipartisan support. But again Republicans refused to budge, saying the budget problems needed a comprehensive solution focusing on spending cuts.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Democrats would not accept the deep cuts in college aid, health care and welfare programs sought by Schwarzenegger.
State Controller John Chiang has said he would have to start issuing promissory notes unless lawmakers act by the end of the fiscal year on Tuesday.
Without a compromise, roughly $3 billion worth of promissory notes will be issued in July to everyone from contractors to welfare recipients.
The deadline is at midnight (0700 GMT Wednesday).
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Associated Press Writers Juliet Williams, Samantha Young and Don Thompson contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-02-27 12:27 GMT+08:00