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Budget Week Begins at the Capitol

Aired 6/11/12 on KPBS News.

A week of intense California budget discussions is under way at the state Capitol. The legislative deadline to pass a budget is Friday at midnight.

A week of intense California budget discussions is under way at the state Capitol. The legislative deadline to pass a budget is Friday at midnight.

Democratic legislative leaders and Governor Jerry Brown are still about two billion dollars apart on how to close the state's 16 billion dollar deficit. They met again Monday, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg described those talks as "positive."

But if there's no deal by the end of the week, Steinberg said Democratic lawmakers are prepared to pass their own spending plan.

"We would much rather have an agreement with the governor. But we also know our line," said Steinberg.

The governor has insisted that he'll only sign a budget that's balanced and doesn't include what he calls "gimmicks." He's also said that hard cuts are necessary.

Monday, Steinberg pointed out that Brown could use his line-item veto power if the governor doesn't agree with the budget lawmakers pass.

Late Monday afternoon, the Assembly released a spending plan that rejects Brown's proposed cuts to welfare, child care, in-home care and college financial aid.

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