Budget delay sets record

The impasse between Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger and the Democrat-controlled Legislature over resolving California’s $15.2 billion budget shortage entered its 73rd day today, as the political stakes intensified with a potential recall of the governor.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, whose members have worked without a contract since 2006, are calling for a recall of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was elected in 2003 upon the recall of his predecessor, Gray Davis.

The 30,000-member CCPOA served the governor with notice of its intention to pursue the recall. Nearly three dozen recall attempts have occurred over the years—only the recall targeting Davis was successful.

Meanwhile, the state budget remains mired in Capitol politics.

Both houses of the Legislature this week rejected a GOP-backed budget proposal, sending lawmakers back to the drawing boards—yet again. Democrats also have turned down Republican-led efforts to short-term emergency funding while negotiations over the larger budget go forward.

California’s new fiscal year began July 1 without a budget. The state constitution requires the Legislature to send the governor a budget by June 15, and the governor has until July 1 to sign.

On Tuesday, State Controller John Chiang, a Democrat who has resisted Schwarzenegger’s efforts to cut state employees’ pay, issued the monthly figures for the state’s cash balance, receipts and disbursements for August.

“While August receipts were lower than expected, the state will still have sufficient cash to make its payments through most of October,” he said.

Personal income taxes in August were $79 million, or 2.6 percent,  below estimates found in the governor’s revised budgetRevision (-2.6%), retail sales taxes were down by $335 million, or 9.3 percent,  and corporate taxes were up $41 million, or 24.8 percent. At the end of August, the state had $9.6 billion remaining in unused borrowable resources, more than $5 billion above the amount estimated by the governor.

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