In California, the state Senate fell one vote shy Wednesday of adopting a budget and may not resume deliberations until August 20th. Republicans maintain that some $700 billion in spending cuts are necessary to balance the budget, yet continue to back a tax package that, by the estimate of Senate President Don Perata, could cost the state $600 million to $1 billion annually. Among the principal elements of that tax package are $100 million in tax credits for movie and television production companies, $175 million in credits for research and development, and changes to the state's corporate income tax apportionment formula.
As the Sacramento Bee points out, this delay will likely force the state to suspend Medi-Cal payments to the 500 hospitals and 11,000 nursing homes and other facilities that serve the 6.8 million Californians who participate in the program. It may lead to a similar stoppage in funding for subsidized day care across the state, leaving 250,000 low-income families without caregivers for their children while they are at work. Interested readers can visit the California Budget Project's website for the latest on the showdown.