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Democrats And Republicans Squabble Over Late State Budget

— Democratic and Republican party leaders gathered near the capitol today to throw figurative pies at each other about the late state budget.

Political-finger pointing doesn’t usually come with pies. But today that was the weapon of choice at the state capitol, where Republicans and Democrats were critical of the late budget. And, as Ida reports, the message wasn’t so sweet.

At a press conference last week, Assembly Speaker John Pérez said there’s a reason he can’t talk publicly about budget negotiations.

“You don’t take a half-baked idea and bring it forward, you figure out how to fully bake it,” Pérez said.

So, the Republican Party decided to give the speaker an easy bake oven. Party spokesman Mark Standriff showed off the mini-kitchen unit in front of the capitol building. He says they also have a recipe to go with it.

“You need to roll out a thin bureaucratic crust, choose your ingredients for your pie filling from the stuff you already have on hand rather than spending money that you don’t have,” Standriff said.

Standriff says the Democrats want to raise taxes and spend more money to close the $19 billion budget gap. Around the corner, the Democratic Party’s Tenoch Flores showed off a table with three fully baked pies, and three empty pie shells.

"Over here on this side of the table which is the Democratic plan for the budget which is full of ideas, it protects jobs, it protects child care, it protects education funding, and over is here we see the Republican plan,” said Flores. “As you can see there’s not much there and that’s because they haven’t presented any ideas."

Republicans largely support Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget, which includes deep cuts to welfare. Democrats oppose those. The state budget is now three weeks late.

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