State's "Big 5" Has First Budget Meeting
Villines says much work still remains
As legislative leaders and the Governor Schwarzenegger convene the first so-called “Big 5” meeting to work through outstanding issues holding up passage of the state budget, Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines, of Fresno, today said progress is being made to reach agreement on a final state budget plan for the 2007-08 fiscal year, but cautioned that several difficult issues must be resolved before an agreement can be finalized. Among the issues that must still be worked out, Villines said, were ensuring infrastructure bond funds were spent as the voters intended and taking further steps to reduce the state’s long-term budget deficit.
“It’s time lawmakers got serious about crafting the balanced budget the people of California deserve and I stand ready to roll up my sleeves and work through the outstanding issues to resolve our budget differences in a
timely manner,” Villines said. “As we convene our first Big 5 meeting on the budget today, I am hopeful that we can craft a responsible balanced budget that better prioritizes spending and helps to solve our long-term budget problems before they spiral out of control – without raising taxes on hard-working Californians.”