Democrats would wipe away the biggest portion of the deficit with the extra $4 billion their budget assumes will come in. Without that money, even deeper cuts would be triggered automatically. The first reductions would be to universities, libraries, prisons and services for the needy and disabled. Community college fees would bump up another $10 per unit.
If less than half of the $4 billion materializes, school districts could shorten the instructional year by up to seven days or find other ways to save $1.5 billion, and state-provided school buses would be mothballed, saving $248 million.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat, gave the spending plan a crucial boost Tuesday, announcing that it would be sufficient to obtain the usual short-term loans needed from Wall Street to pay the state's bills.
Lockyer called the proposed budget a "very important step in restoring California state government to fiscal good health."
Los Angeles Times staff writers Patrick McGreevy and Anthony York contributed to this report.