The big budget news wasn't in the Capitol, it came
from the state Chamber of Commerce, where prez Allan
Zaremberg said his buisiness group will financially support any lawmakers who have to
make tough votes on the budget -- such as Reeps voting for tax extensions. Steve Harmon
of the Contra Costa Times has the story.
"There are going to be, I don't care if you're a Democrat
or Republican, some difficult votes that people are
going to have to make," Zaremberg said in a briefing
with a handful of reporters. "Some are going to be
subject to more criticism than others. ... It's important
for them to know there's going to be support for them."
"A fear among many Republicans and some Democrats is
that voters in conservative districts might retaliate
against legislators who even put a question of taxes
on the ballot. Financial support from the Chamber could
help them explain their vote in the next campaign."
Meanwhile, the budget conference committee approved
a spending plan that includes the elimination of the redevelopment agencies
demanded by Gov. Brown.
From the LAT's Shane Goldmacher: "The panel’s action sets the stage for a potential vote on both
floors of the Legislature next week on a budget plan.
The proposal that Democratic legislators adopted over
Republican objections hews closely to the plan Gov.
Jerry Brown outlined in January. "
"Brown, in a written statement, praised lawmakers for
making “some bold decisions. I commend their work and their willingness to face
the tough challenges that this year’s budget presents,” the governor said."
The Bee's Dan Walters and other liberal columnists say Republicans are in a prime position to negotiate
major concessions from Democrats, but have yet to take advantage of it.
"It's a one-time shot. Last November, voters changed the legislative
vote margin on budgets from two-thirds to a simple majority, which means GOP votes
are no longer needed for a budget. But at least four Republicans would have to vote for
the constitutional amendment that Brown proposes to
extend some temporary taxes for an additional five
years and divert the money to local governments and
"Since it's the only time in the foreseeable future
that Republicans would have the budget leverage they
previously had every year, they could shoot the moon,
seeking concessions so onerous to unions and other
Democratic constituencies that they might drive a serious
wedge between their political rivals."
Oakland is the latest town to lock up its redevelopment money before the state moves
to eliminate the redevelopment programs. From Sean Maher in the Oakland Tribune.
"Though the city has known something like this was
for two months, the legal details of Brown's proposal
wasn't available until
last week, which is why city staff said plans weren't
ready to go until now."
"I would have preferred we would have more time to
work on this," said Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large).
"Basically we did it when the gun was to our head."
And for those of you who are tired of politics, budgets
and newsies, look up and smile: The moon is nigh.
"In a fortnight Earth will experience the biggest moon
has seen in nearly two decades."
"As well as providing some unique photo opportunities,
some astronomers - well, one - are already predicting it may bring more
worrying disruptions to the Earth’s climate patterns.
Earthquakes are not out of the question. More about
"For now, all you need to know is that on March 19th the
moon will be at its closest point to Earth in 18 years, an event that is known
as a “lunar perigee”. Or the much more exciting “SuperMoon”, as one astrologer