Tuesday, September 9, 2008

71 days w/o a budget: THE MADNESS CONTINUES


"This madness has gone on far too long," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in his Saturday radio address of the budget impasse.

But the spending plan-free fiscal year will continue today.

On Monday, Senate Democrats voted down the Senate Republicans' budget plan, along party lines.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata made the most disheartening comment of the whole debate, saying lawmakers are "no closer today than we were three months ago."

What was notable were the voting abstentions of GOP Sens. Abel Maldonado and Roy Ashburn, whom the governor and the Democratic leadership are eyeing as potential supporters of some type of compromise plan.

Schwarzenegger seems to think his August proposal could close the deal and pushed the Senate put it up for a vote.

"It is also the only budget proposal remaining that has not been voted on," the GOP governor said in a statement. "For the sake of all Californians, the Senate should take up and pass my compromise budget proposal now."

Schwarzenegger will make his case for his August compromise budget to Assembly Republicans behind closed doors today, after asking Assembly GOP leader Mike Villines to help set up a meeting with the 32-member GOP caucus last week.

The Assembly, meanwhile, amended the governor's plan into a bill on Monday, making it eligible to be taken up as early as today.

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