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
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
"Joe Justin, a spokesman for Emmerson who is serving
spokesman for the group of Senators who are calling
themselves the "Reform
Five" said Wednesday, "We're ready to work.
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
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
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
“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
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...