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State Budget Deadlock Appears Over

The state budget deadlock over an initial package of spending cuts and an increase in vehicle license fees appears to have been broken.

Earlier today the Assembly approved a package of about $8.6 billion in spending cuts that are not tied to legislation designed to trigger a VLF increase. The action came more than three months after Governor Davis called a special legislative session to attack a budget deficit that could reach $34.6 billion over the next 16 months.

The bills approved today are nearly identical to a package of midyear cuts and funding shifts that lawmakers approved several weeks ago. But those cuts were tied to enactment of a bill by Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson that was designed to trigger an increase in the VLF to help ease the state´s revenue problems. Davis announced that he would veto the Wesson bill, and the speaker never sent the earlier package of cuts to the Democratic governor.