Sacramento Bee | CapitolAlert | November 6, 2008
The results aren't finalized yet, but we want to know who you think are this fall's biggest election winners and losers.
Believe it or not, the election is only two days behind us, but the special session on the bleeding state budget is already here.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to call for the session today. He's also expected to release the most up-to-date estimates of the size of the deficit and present his solutions. (Think of it as the November Revision, which followed the August Revision, which followed the May Revision, which followed the January budget unveiling.)
Senate leader Don Perata let the cat out of the bag Wednesday about the size of the deficit: $11.2 billion this year, followed by $13 billion next year.
Perata and incoming Senate leader Darrell Steinberg called for new taxes -- specifically hiking the vehicle license fee (better known as the car tax) and implementing an oil severance tax.
Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines said taxes are off the table for GOP lawmakers.
Villines, like caucus member Todd Spitzer, didn't hold out much hope for the special session.
"Elections tend to harden people's positions," the Clovis Republican said. "I think it's pretty difficult for people to come together and say kumbaya over the next three weeks."
Democrats and Republicans alike spent millions attacking each other in the run-up to the legislative elections.
"Right now, the wounds are on the top of the skin," Villines said.
Democrats, meanwhile, seem to be holding out hope that Schwarzenegger can sway some of his fellow party members to their new-revenues side of the aisle. That strategy did not work over the summer, as Republicans held out during a record-long budget standoff.
"It is a top priority to have (new) revenue in it," said Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.
"Since the governor is calling the special session ... I am assuming then that he is bringing some votes to the table," Bass added.