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Budget “Test” For Schwarzenegger

Governor Schwarzenegger faces his biggest challenge yet this month – the state budget and an estimated $17 billion shortfall next year.

The popular Republican governor has drawn wide applause for agreements with Democratic leaders on a variety of issues. But the real work begins this week with the release of his revised spending plan for next year.

Democrats had only mild criticism for the governor´s January budget draft. They were relieved Schwarzenegger didn´t seek deep cuts.

Still, most expect the budget battle to be fought over proposed cuts to public health and welfare. Most observers don´t expect to see any major changes proposed by the administration — especially regarding Schwarzenegger´s promise nt to raise taxes. The budget is supposed to be adopted by June 15.