SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct 1 (Reuters) - A top Californialawmaker said on Friday the state's leaders had reached a finalagreement on closing a $19.1 billion deficit to balance thestate budget, ending a record stalemate over a spending plan.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced thedeal Friday evening following closed-door negotiations withother top lawmakers and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in thegovernor's office in the state capital of Sacramento and 93days after California's fiscal year began on July 1.
Steinberg described the agreement as "comprehensive" andsaid he planned for the legislature to be able to vote on itnext Thursday. He did not provide details on the deal.
"We all stepped up," said Steinberg, a Democrat, flanked byRepublican leaders of the legislature's minority.
Details of the agreement, which both chambers ofCalifornia's legislature must approve before reachingSchwarzenegger for his signature, would be released onWednesday, said Aaron McLear, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger.
The agreement came as California entered the fourth monthof its fiscal year without a spending plan in place and withthe November election looming -- and with California voterstelling pollster they have little confidence in their stateleaders.
That should be an incentive for lawmakers to endorse thebudget agreement and put the long stalemate behind them, saidJack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKennaCollege.
"It's a bad dream and they want to get it over," Pitneysaid.
(Reporting by Jim Christie in Sacramento, editing byJonathan Thatcher)