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California tax bill for budget fails to pass Senate

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California's state Senate failed on Friday to approve a tax bill to help fund a budget plan it approved earlier in the day.

Tax measures in California's legislature require two-thirds approval of lawmakers, allowing Republicans in its minority to block measures such as the one for funding the budget plan, which only required a simply majority to pass.

Democrats, who control the state Senate, advanced the budget bill, fully expecting Republicans would oppose the tax bill as they had said they would.

The votes mark the first substantive effort in weeks by lawmakers to craft a budget, that must close a roughly $10 billion gap, ahead of their June 15 for approving a spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.