After an 85 day delay and many compromises Governor Schwarzenegger has signed a budget and California can resume business. Here's the official announcement from Da Schwarz' office:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed the 2008-09 state budget, concluding a very difficult budget year and delivering a real win for Californians with a proposal to achieve meaningful budget reform. It addresses California's $15.2 billion budget shortfall with a combination of cuts and increased revenues. It fully funds education's Proposition 98 guarantee and does not borrow funding from voter-approved local government or transportation funds. The historic budget reform package includes a strong rainy-day fund aimed at helping smooth out the unpredictable highs and lows in revenues that plague our state and create massive deficits.
"While California is certain to face a difficult budget situation again next year, this budget does not take money out of people's paychecks or borrow from voter-approved local government or transportation funds, and it includes real budget reform with teeth," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "These budget reforms, when approved by voters, will finally put California's budget on a path toward long-term fiscal stability."
Throughout California's history, numerous attempts have been made to reform our state's broken budget system. When the Governor was elected, he committed to finally end California's feast and famine budget cycle. In 2004, the Governor worked with the legislature to pass Proposition 58, which took the first step toward budget reform. In 2005, the Governor attempted the next step in budget reform with Proposition 76, and while it was defeated, the Governor remained committed to reform.
Today, the Governor delivered on his commitment with reforms to address two major flaws in the state budget system-wildly volatile revenues and over spending. In fact, had these reforms been in place over the past decade, this year's budget problem would have been approximately $10 billion smaller and California would have benefited from $8 billion in additional funding available for infrastructure and other one-time purposes. The proposal will now go before voters on the next statewide election ballot.
Over the weekend, the Governor used his veto pen to make an additional $510 million in General Fund reductions, reflecting the Governor's determination to reduce spending to the maximum extent possible. The state also captured $340 million in savings due to the delay in enacting the budget and the effect of the Governor's executive order.
The rest of the Governor's official statement is here.