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Local gains made in finalized budget

Tim Willert

It took more than 27 hours behind closed doors, but the state

Assembly on Tuesday approved a compromise budget that stands to

benefit the city and school district.

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After a marathon negotiating session, the budget bill passed 56-22

after $300 million was added in spending to benefit local

governments, law enforcement, schools and farmers.

“We were able to make some tweaks, which I think will please both

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City Hall and our local schools because it means a little more money

for them in this budget,” said Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Burbank),

who voted in favor of the budget.

The plan would reduce the amount of money in property-tax revenue

the state can take from local redevelopment agencies, from $250

million approved by the Senate on Sunday night to $135 million passed

by the Assembly.

It was unclear late Tuesday how much the city, which was

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anticipating a $3-million loss in property-tax revenue, will save.

“This certainly isn’t the worst case,” Assistant City Manager Dave

Newsham said. “We hope for the best case, and this is somewhere in

the middle.”

Additionally, the proposed budget would return about $50 million

to California schools, including $173,642 to Burbank Unified.

“If, in fact, there is a net gain in the district, it would

certainly be a very welcome development,” school board member Paul

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Krekorian said late Tuesday. “Personally, I would want to try to

minimize the impact of some of our layoffs of personnel.”

Board President Trish Burnett called the proposed windfall

“absolutely wonderful news.”

“I know we’re looking at another budget crisis next year,” Burnett

said. “I’m not sure if we’re going to look at the future and use it,

or use it for immediate needs.”

Frommer said while approving the budget was a relief for weary

legislators, more work remains.

“This budget approach, which was pushed on us by the Senate, has

an $8-billion shortfall, which means we’re going to have to deal with

that next year,” Frommer said. “We’re rolling over $10 billion in

debt over a five-year period, which I think is questionable.”

Gov. Gray Davis is expected to sign the near $100-billion proposal

this week.

Reporters Ben Godar and Molly Shore contributed to this story


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