SACRAMENTO (AP) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has
signed the state's $143 billion spending plan after the longest budget deadlock in state history.
The governor's signature, which comes on the 85th day after the start of the fiscal year, frees up billions in payments to medical clinics, nursing homes, daycare centers and contract vendors.
It won't, however, finish the budget battle. That will be up to voters, who will be asked to tie up the agreement's loose ends during a special election next year.
The impasse dragged because lawmakers dug into a partisan standoff to close the state's $15.2 billion deficit.
Republicans opposed any tax increase, while Democrats sought to combine budget cuts with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Californians.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)