Friday, August 15, 2008
State lawmakers are gearing up for a budget vote this weekend. But don't be fooled. It doesn't mean they've reached a long-overdue deal on how to make up a 15 billion dollar shortfall. The budget is now nearly 50 days late. Marianne Russ reports.
Democratic Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has scheduled a budget vote for Sunday afternoon. Lawmakers are expected to consider a largely Democratic spending plan, which includes billions in new income taxes. Republican Assembly Leader Mike Villines says there are no Republican votes for that plan - and he doubts the two parties can strike a deal by Sunday:
Villines: No, there's not time to put it together and we're just not close enough on any form of compromise. I mean, they're not compromising.
However, Villines welcomes the floor vote on the Democratic plan. He says after that public debate leaders can hopefully move forward with a compromise. A major sticking point has been Republican insistence on limits to future state spending - known as a spending cap. That would need voter approval, and the deadline to put a new measure on November's ballot is Saturday. However, lawmakers say there's still some wiggle room with that date.