The State Controller says unless lawmakers take action, the state will run out of cash in early March. So the Assembly Budget Committee approved a measure that allows some internal borrowing. Democrat Bob Blumenfield chairs the committee. He says it's a routine cleanup bill - and the state is not facing a crisis.
Blumenfield: "It gets us through the short window of time before we get the tax returns in April. Once that comes in, we're back in the binge phase as opposed to the purge phase."
…as in, a revenue binge rather than a spending purge. The committee also restored $250 million in school bus funding. That money was eliminated as part of the budget's mid-year trigger cuts and left many rural school districts reeling.
Blumenfield: "Doing it mid-year created a crisis that we needed to solve."
Those funds would instead be cut evenly from all school districts - and districts could absorb that cut any way they wish.