Hasta la vista, budget

Posted by Nick Guli.

SACRAMENTO, CA (WFLX) - California's budget shortfall is big, a 15 billion dollar deficit. They're also several weeks late in passing a budget this year.

A political battle is brewing after the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, made some serious threats about ways to close the gap.

Schwarzenegger is proposing to trim the salaries of some 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage, which is only $6.55 an hour. This would affect everyone from janitors to administrators. Police officers and firefighters would not fall under this category.

Many state employees are not happy. Yvonne Walker, Service Employees International Union, voices her concerns, "It's not a plan. This isn't going to balance the budget, as a matter of fact it will cause additional problems. It will not make it any better, it will make it worse."

There could also be a legal showdown. The state comptroller says he's going to continue to pay workers, regardless of what the governor does. The comptroller says there's enough money in the budget to last through September.