Assembly strikes offshore oil drilling from budget deal.
Friday, July 24, 2009
At the end of a redeye session beginning Thursday night, the California Assembly finally approved a budget package that closes most of the state's $26 billion deficit.
According to a breaking Associated Press report, Assemblymembers made some eleventh-hour tweaks to last week's tentative budget blueprint, hacking off a plan to borrow $1 billion in transportation funding from local governments and rejecting a controversial deal to allow oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast.
"The Assembly beat back the waves of oil lobbyists who wanted to open our coast to oil and gas drilling," said Dan Jacobson of Environment California.
Without the two provisions in place, the budget package comes in $1.1 billion shorter than originally proposed, which more than cancels out the $900 million in reserves included in the plan.
The budget package now heads to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is expected to make additional cuts to bridge the gap.