Nation Digest: California Lawmakers Approve Most Budget Measures
Lawmakers Approve Most Budget Measures
California lawmakers approved Friday a complex package of spending cuts, local government raids and accounting maneuvers to fill the state's gigantic budget deficit.
But the Assembly rejected two of the most controversial measures agreed to by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and legislative leaders from both parties. One would take about $ billion in transportation funding from local governments, and the other would allow oil drilling off the California coast for the first time in 40 years, bringing in $100 million this fiscal year.
Their deletion means Schwarzenegger will have to use his authority to make more cuts to close California's $26 billion budget deficit. Without a balanced budget, California has been forced to pay bills with IOUs to avoid running out of cash.
-- Associated Press
Cornyn, Hatch Will Vote Against Sotomayor
Republican Sens. John Cornyn (Tex.) and Orrin G. Hatch (Utah) said Friday that they will vote against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
Both senators sit on the Judiciary Committee, which will vote Tuesday on Sotomayor's confirmation.
Cornyn acknowledged that his decision could carry political risks -- one-third of his constituents are Hispanic -- and said he was announcing it with "regret and some sadness." But, he said, he came away from confirmation hearings wondering, "Who is the real Judge Sonia Sotomayor?"
Hatch was one of seven current GOP senators who voted in 1998 to confirm Sotomayor to an appeals court seat.
-- Associated Press
Evangelist Convicted of Abusing Girls: Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher who built a multimillion-dollar ministry, was convicted Friday of taking girls as young as 9 across state lines for sex. "I'm just another one of the prophets that went to jail for the Gospel," Alamo called to reporters afterward.
Border Patrol Agent Killed in Calif.: A U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot to death in a remote area of San Diego County as he tracked suspected illegal immigrants or drug smugglers, authorities said Friday. The Department of Homeland Security identified the agent as Robert Wimer Rosas.
From News Services