July 12, 2007 seemed to be an unremarkable day here in Sacramento. It was a Thursday with a pleasant un-summer-like high temperature of 85 degrees. The budget was almost two weeks late, though that certainly wasn't surprising.
But that day now stands as a milestone for the long crisis in California's governance: it was the last time the Golden State had "real"... not borrowed... cash on hand to pay its bills. Ever since, finance officials have scrounged for money to keep the wheels turning -- a process that's expected to continue in 2010.