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Governor Rejects Lawmakers' Budget-Balancing Ideas

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Lawmakers sent the Governor a bill that would save the state about one billion dollars by changing the way gasoline taxes are collected. The Governor made a similar proposal, but Schwarzenegger wants to give consumers a break of a few cents a gallon at the pump – and Democrats prefer to put that money into transportation. Schwarzenegger says he’ll veto that plan:

 “It is important to keep it something that is a tax benefit, and that it reduces the cost at the gas pump, rather than increasing the cost of transportation. I mean, they made it instead of a tax reduction, a tax addition.”

Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says the Governor’s plan likely wouldn’t save consumers any money at the pump.  
He calls this a minor impasse:

“I would’ve preferred that the Governor takes 4.1 billion dollars and puts it in the bank. That’s what I would prefer, but that’s not where we’re at now.”

Schwarzenegger has already vetoed a different bill that would have saved the state about two billion dollars. He and Democrats also disagree about how much money to spend on education – and how best to create jobs. This latest impasse puts them quite a distance from solving the state’s 20 billion dollar deficit. 
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