Brown Inks $91B California Budget

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a budget that closes an estimated $15.7 billion deficit for the fiscal year that begins Sunday. The governor approved the budget Wednesday night after making more than $129 million of line-item vetoes. Lawmakers earlier that day passed 21 “trailer” bills that filled in the details of the spending plan passed by the Legislature on Jan. 15. The budget inked by the governor on Wednesday night relies on voter approval of a tax initiative in November to raise an estimated $5.5 billion of revenue. The measure would temporarily increase the state’s sales tax by a quarter-cent and raise taxes on income starting at $250,000. If that fails, the axe will fall on education through “trigger cuts.”  The approval of the budget marks the second time in as many years that the state has passed an on-time budget after five previous years of misses.

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