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Calif. Lawmakers Say They’re Talking, But No Budget In Sight

Thursday is the start of the new fiscal year. That’s when California’s budget is supposed to be in place. But there’s no deal in sight. Democrats and Republicans have different views on progress.

Democratic legislative leaders say there’s some talking going on. “The Assembly and the Senate, specifically the Democrats, are having very positive conversations," said Senate president pro-tem Darrell Steinberg. "We’re also having positive conversations with Senate Republicans.”

But some Republicans are frustrated with the process and with Democrats.

“So far, there haven’t been serious negotiations," said Seth Unger, spokesman for Assembly GOP Leader Martin Garrick. "The Senate and Assembly Democrats can’t even seem to agree on a plan. They are still far apart with each other on where we should be on a budget.”

Right now, there are three budget plans on the table: The Governor’s revised proposal, and one each from Senate and Assembly Democrats. Unger said Assembly Republicans support the Governor’s plan.

Schwarzenegger has said a final budget must have pension reform. He said he will not support new taxes or borrowing to solve the $19 billion budget gap. Democrats have included both in their plans.

All of that adds up to a long hot summer at the state Capitol as no one expects resolution any time soon.

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