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Stalled State Budget Affecting Highway Patrol and School

If you’re used to seeing a California Highway Patrol officer stationed at construction zones along Interstate 10, you won’t anymore. Because of the record 92 day-long budget delay, California Highway Patrol will no longer be assigned to cone zones.

In the past, the California Transportation Department dedicated an overtime-paid California Highway Patrol officer to be on site at construction zones such as the one on I-10 and Ramon Road.

“When they see that black and white (patrol car), people put that halo on and are more careful”, said Donavan Rice with the California Highway Patrol. “It was a big deterrent keeping people alert.”

The stalled budget in Sacramento is not only putting your safety on the roadways in danger, it’s also affecting schools such as College of the Desert in Palm Desert. The college has already dipped into its $8 million rainy day fund. With a yearly budget of $41 million, the college is waiting on $7 million dollars from the state.

“It won’t be months from now, it’ll be weeks if they don’t pass a budget. We’ll be in the same boat as other schools and have to start going to the banks to borrow money”, said Dr. Edwin Deas, Vice President for Business Affairs at College of the Desert. The college hasn’t recieved anything from the state since July 1.

Negotiations between the unions and Gov. Schwarzenegger over pension plans is the main setback. If no budget is passed, California’s controller will decide if the Golden State will issue IOU’s, which has only been done twice since the Great Depression.

KESQ News Team

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