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New Legislature, Same Problem


Aired 4/19/09

A new session of the California State Legislature starts Monday but with the same old problem. One San Diego legislator says she hopes that newly-elected members can reach agreement on a state budget. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The state's budget deficit is expected to top $28 billion over 19 months.

Closing that gaping budget hole now falls to a new class of lawmakers.  

San Diego Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña says a change in the personalities of the Legislature could make a difference in breaking the budget stalemate.

Maybe the new members coming in will see the writing on the wall.

But Saldaña says the two-thirds majority vote required to pass the budget remains a major hurdle.

With the two-thirds requirement, the minority is running, the only time throughout the year that they can really run the discussion and the debate. And so what we see is deadlock.

She calls the last session the most frustrating and aggravating in the four years she's been in Sacramento.

Until there's an agreement, the budget gap widens more each day, putting the state at risk of running out of cash in late February.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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