Page last updated at 03:12 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 04:12 UK

Schwarzenegger passes budget cuts

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: 'These are ugly cuts'

The governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has approved spending cuts of more than half a billion dollars to the state's budget.

Most of the savings are being made in social services - with deep cuts in child welfare programmes, health care for the poor, and HIV/Aids initiatives.

Mr Schwarzenegger said the cuts were painful but necessary to set aside money in case of emergencies.

California's $85bn budget (£51bn) has a deficit of $26bn (£15bn).

The cuts included $80m from child welfare programmes; $61m from the state's government-sponsored health care for poorer families as well as $52m slated for preventing the spread of HIV and the treatment for those with the virus.

Mr Schwarzenegger described the compromise plan - the result of several weeks of wrangling with Democrats who control the legislature - as "the good, the bad and the ugly".

"Those are ugly cuts and I'm the only one that is really responsible for those cuts because the legislature... didn't want to make those cuts," he said.

Mr Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency earlier this month after legislators missed a deadline to agree a budget for the coming financial year.

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