The California State Senate authorized $1 billion cuts to the current 2007-08 California budget plan.

Friday’s bipartisan vote calls for emergency cuts that will primarily impact education and Medi-Cal funding as the State Legislature looks to resolve a $14.5 billion state deficit.

Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) stated, “We can’t expect Californians to be supportive of a government that fails to deliver on its promise to afford our young a quality education, our small businesses the opportunity to compete and grow, and the elderly and disabled the security they need to enjoy a decent quality of life.

“Nonetheless, the state is facing an enormous and growing deficit. Therefore, difficult and tough decisions are the order of the day. I am profoundly concerned about the cuts to health care and their impact on Medi-Cal program consumers and providers.

Ridley-Thomas continued, “I’m pleased that one of the measures the Senate passed today (Friday) will close one of the most egregious tax loopholes on the books; the yacht and aircraft tax exemption.”