Fuss budget

Mar 10, 2011

The clock is ticking -- forget the self-imposed deadline, we're talking about the special election clock -- as Brown seeks a delay in the budget vote today. The Democratic governor acknowleged that he didn't have enough Republican support to push the tax-and-cut blueprint out of the Legislature and put it before voters in June.


From Anthony York in the LA Times: "The announcement comes as Brown and his staff continue to meet with Sens. Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet), Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) and Bill Berryhill (R-Modesto)."


"Joe Justin, a spokesman for Emmerson who is serving as a spokesman for the group of Senators who are calling themselves the "Reform Five" said Wednesday, "We're ready to work.  Our reforms, including a hard spending cap, meaningful pension reforms, and job creation will fix the underlying structural probllems that contribute to our chronic spending, budget, and economic problems."


The Democrats, who have simple majorities in both houses, could send a budget to the governor's desk without Republican votes, notes HealthyCal's Dan Weintraub.


"Democrats control both houses of the Legislature, and thanks to the passage of Proposition 25 last November, they now have the power to pass a budget without Republican votes. With a Democrat in the governor’s office, that should make for easy sailing for a Democrat-driven budget plan…"


"Democrats can pass a budget without Republican support. But they cannot pass tax increases. And the Democrats don’t want to use their newfound clout to pass a budget that gets by only on the revenues projected for the coming fiscal year, especially after the expiration of $11 billion in temporary tax increases. That would mean deep cuts in public schools, public safety and just about every other program funded by the state."


Brown has spent a lot of time wooing those Republicans, notes the LAT's Shane Goldmacher and Michael Mishak.


"To persuade them to support his proposal for closing California's $25-billion budget gap, he has been bar-hopping with lawmakers, crashing private dinners and even braving a karaoke party (leaving the singing to the legislative branch). If lawmakers balk, fiscal crisis could continue to paralyze the Capitol."


"So Brown showed up at an annual Republican duck feast at an old Capitol haunt last month, turning heads as he and his wife, Anne, took seats at the head of a long table. They ordered wine and stayed for the better part of three hours."


One piece of the fiscal fight is Brown's proposed elimination of California's redevelopment agencies, which has caused turmoil up and down the state. But it's a complex issue, notes Capitol Weekly's Malcolm Maclachlan.


"This may point to the veteran political savvy of Gov. Jerry Brown — picking a concept many people have heard of but few people truly understand, which involves billions of dollars but wasn’t really on the radar screens of most Sacramento political players. In one swoop, Brown has changed the budget conversation by introducing a new topic — one which he and his allies may be able to define for the electorate."

This is exactly what Brown seems to be doing, according to Republican pollster Adam Probolsky — looking among the $5.7 billion in annual redevelopment money spent around the state and cherry-picking the worst examples."


The GOP debate over the budget is likely to spill over into the Republicans' spring convention, which gets under way next week at the Hyatt Regency across the street from the Capitol.


From Capitol Weekly's John Howard: “That’s one thing that’s driving the budget negotiations. No Republicans want to go into the convention and get hammered,” said a veteran GOP strategist familiar with the inner workings of the GOP..."


“There’s an element of déjà vu. In 2009, Republicans agreed to a budget deal shortly before the state party gathered in the capital. Party activists pilloried the six Republicans who broke with party orthodoxy on taxes. At issue now, just like 2009, is an attempt to resolve a $25.4 billion budget hole by crafting a mix of tax extensions and cuts and placing them before voters in a special election by June."


And from our "Only in England" file, we find out about the new car that really clings to the road. Comes with a soft top, too. An eye-catcher. Really unique. Etc., etc...


"A life-sized replica car made completely from world record amounts of Play-Doh modelling clay has hit the road. But it's not going anywhere fast."


"Using 1.5 tons of the children's putty from 10,000 pots - costing around £6,000 in total - the hand-crafted sculpture was created by a team of eight model makers over a two-week period."


"It was created to mark the UK launch of the new Chevrolet Orlando family-friendly seven-seater car - which is on sale from £16,395.

At those prices, you could have nearly three Play-Doh version for the cost of the real thing."


Start your engines...

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