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Senate Budget Package Approved

Sacramento, CA — The California Senate has approved a long-awaited budget package intended to wipe out a $42 billion deficit, possibly steering the state clear of a fiscal disaster.

Leaders were able to secure the final vote needed from moderate Republican Abel Maldonado early Thursday morning by agreeing to his demands for open primary elections, government reform and removal of a $.12 gas tax increase. That vote presented them with the two-thirds vote needed to pass the package.

Now the budget awaits approval from the state Assembly which had been expected to approve previous budget deals this week but has yet to weigh in on the late Senate changes.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com