SACRAMENTO — The state Assembly approved a $102 billion draft budget proposal Friday, an early step in what is expected to be a difficult budget process.
The 48-28 vote sends the Assembly’s version to a six-legislator conference committee, along with a Senate plan expected to be approved next week and Gov. Gray Davis’ budget proposal.
“This has been one of the most difficult budgets to put together in recent history,” said the Assembly’s budget chairman, Assemblyman Tony Cardenas. “The economy has slowed, revenues are down, and the energy crisis has caused great uncertainty.”
The committee will be seeking a compromise spending plan before the 2001-2002 fiscal year starts on July 1.
Cardenas, D-Arleta, said the budget includes increased funding for public schools and health care and an emergency reserve of $1.9 billion, which is 2.5 percent. The budget scraps a plan by Davis to extend the school year for middle school students. The plan also supports Davis’ plan to shave the state transportation budget by $1.2 billion by postponing for two years a program that would divert all state gasoline tax revenues to transportation projects.
Minority Republicans, who voted against the budget plan, said that reserve needs to be higher because of the economic uncertainty.
“The reserve that is in this budget is not prudent,” said Assemblyman John Campbell, R-Irvine. Davis reacted to the slowing economy last week by saying he’ll cut almost $3.2 billion in new programs, tax cuts and spending increases he proposed in January. The governor’s $102.9 billion budget plan also cuts the state’s reserves to $1 billion.
But Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill predicted the state will face a $4 billion budget shortfall in 2002-03 unless legislators cut more deeply than Davis proposed in his revised budget.
On the Net:
Read Gov. Gray Davis’ budget proposals at
Read about the Assembly version at