They did it this afternoon, approving a $6 billion cut to schools ($8.8 billion, when you include the state’s university systems). The budget falls $1.1 billion short of closing the deficit.
You can read a detailed story by Contra Costa Times Reporter Steven Harmon here. He writes:
Hundreds of thousands of people who depend on government services — from college students and elementary school teachers to welfare-to-work recipients and sick children — will bear the brunt of a budget package months in the making.
Of the $26 billion in budget “solutions,” $15.5 billion come by way of cuts, with schools ($6 billion) taking the biggest hit. The University of California and California State University systems will be slashed by $2.8 billion; MediCal services are facing a $1.3 billion hit; corrections are facing an unspecified $1.2 billion in cuts, and three major welfare programs — the welfare-to-work CalWORKs program, In Home Supportive Services and the children’s health insurance program — stand to lose a total of $878 million.
The rest — about $10 billion — is achieved through one-time raids on local government funding (for a total of $4.4 billion) and accounting maneuvers, such as deferring state employee paychecks by one day for a savings of $1.2 billion. Another $1.7 billion is saved by speeding up tax withholdings on individuals and businesses.
On a related note: The faculty at California State University have agreed to take a furlough of two days a month.