Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A State With a Budget: Day 64 - [EVERY DAY] A NEW RECORD

The Sacramento Bee CapitolAlert

September 2 -- State lawmakers worked through the weekend, passing legislation ahead of the August 31 bill deadline. Both houses adjourned on Sunday afternoon.

But of the hundreds of bills they've passed, none include the 2008-09 budget, which is now in record-setting territory.

"That's the history that will be written about this year," declared Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, who has called for Senate floor session every day at 4 p.m. until lawmakers strike a budget deal.

Legislative Republicans, who have blocked passage of Democratic-backed budgets in both houses, outlined a spending plan of their own over the weekend. Perata promised them their day in the sun, or at least a floor debate.

"I do not want to rain on their parade," Perata said of the GOP plan, which does not include new taxes but deeper cuts and more borrowing. "I wish they'd have started marching a little earlier in the season."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the plan was "not fiscally responsible." The budget, he said, should "not kick the can down the alley for others to deal with in the future."

On Monday, Schwarzenegger missed attending the scaled-down Republican National Convention in St. Paul due to the budget debacle.

In his stead, he sent former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.

Who proceeded to criticize Schwarzenegger's temporary 1-cent sales tax proposal to balance the state's books.

"If you're going to do any tax, that's the right one, but I just disagree," Wilson said. "Number one, we're already a high-tax state. I mean, that's the problem."

With daily sessions, four GOP senators could miss out on the St. Paul festivities. And in the Assembly, a spokesman for Speaker Karen Bass said she'll be requring lawmakers stay within three hours of the Capitol, which could interfere with convention plans for seven Assembly Reeps.

Capitol Alert has a list of all the GOP lawmaker delegates.

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