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Schwarzenegger boosts budget for diesel emission reduction program

Schwarzenegger boosts budget for diesel emission reduction program

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday released a revised state budget that boosts spending slightly above his January proposals, including new funds for a statewide truck modernization program that seeks to cut emissions from trucks and heavy equipment in the state’s major trade corridors.

   Under the revision, the entire state budget would grow from $131.4 billion to $145.9 billion, up from the governor’s January total budget proposal of $143.4 billion.

   While the new plan would still result in a $1.4 billion deficit next year, the number is much lower than the double-digit billion-dollar deficit facing Schwarzenegger when he took office in 2003.

   The revision also increases general fund spending by about 1.5 percent in the budget year that begins July 1, from $102.3 billion to $103.8 billion. Schwarzenegger's January proposal called for $103.1 billion in spending.

   A $4 billion carryover from the current fiscal year would allow the additional spending and Schwarzenegger included no tax hikes in his revision.

   One of the governor's spending additions is $111 million to boost the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program. The Moyer Program provides incentive grants for cleaner-than-required engines, equipment and other sources of pollution providing early or extra emission reductions.

   The newly budgeted funds would be used to support the Moyer Program's efforts to replace old diesel engines in trucks and heavy equipment in the state’s major trade corridors. Much of the funding would come from the Proposition 1B bond measure approved by voters in November.

   The Gateway Cities Council of Governments has run a fleet modernization program in Southern California for several years, utilizing funds from the Moyer Program. It offers short-haul drayage drivers in the region an incentive to scrap older trucks and purchase newer 'clean-burning' vehicles.

   The Legislature must approve the budget by June 15 and Schwarzenegger is supposed to sign the budget bill into law by June 30.

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