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Legislature fixes $650M deficit in fiscal 2009 (access required)

The Senate and the House approved a plan on May 13 that suspends a payment of $300 million to school districts until the next fiscal year and instead allows them to tap into their excess cash balances to cover ongoing expenses. The plan is part of a two-bill package aimed at solving a $650-million budget deficit in fiscal 2009.

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House panel advances latest budget fix, filling $650M gap (access required)

Lawmakers on a House panel generally agreed an emergency measure intended to repair the fiscal 2009 budget amounts to bad policy, but the bill still managed to gain approval along a party-line vote. One by one, legislators explained their objection to using accounting gimmicks and raiding funding in schools' bank accounts.

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Budget gets House panel OK, but it’s just a start (access required)

A legislative panel may have spent the better part of seven hours debating, amending and approving a package of budget bills, but that doesn't mean action on a plan to solve a roughly $3 billion deficit is imminent. Rather, many lawmakers say the significance of the committee's work is that it sets the stage for progress to be made.

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