Budget Follies: By the Skin Of Its Teeth
A day after Calitics called the roll of the Yacht Party on the budget deal to be voted upon tomorrow in the State Senate, Shane Goldmacher does the same and comes up with just three Republicans who haven't signaled a no vote:
The field of potential Republican votes for the budget compromise in the Senate -- widely viewed as the most challenging caucus to corral support -- has narrowed so significantly that only three members have yet to throw cold water on the tentative deal.
That happens to be the bare minimum of Republican votes needed to pass the $40 billion-plus budget plan.
Those three are Senate Republican leader Dave Cogdill, Sen. Dave Cox of Fair Oaks and Sen. Roy Ashburn of Bakersfield.
Neither Ashburn, Cox OR Cogdill said they would actually vote for the budget, by the way. You can read all of the statements at the link. It should be noted that normally, the Senate would need only two Republican votes to pass, but since Mark Ridley-Thomas' seat is vacant (he was elected to the LA County Board of Supervisors in November) until the March special election, it takes three.
That basically means that full caucus unity is needed from the Democrats, and these three votes would have to come through, for the budget to pass. And we know that Lou Correa is wavering.
And the outside pressure is on. Opportunists like Steve Poizner are slamming the deal, and advocacy groups on both sides are urging a no vote.
GOP conservatives were incensed at the notion of a colleague supporting tax hikes, while labor and environmental groups were mad at what they consider Democratic concessions.
"If we're going to win elections in 2010, we have to say that we're the other party that we're going to stop tax increases," said Jon Fleischman, a conservative blogger and a vice chairman in the state Republican Party.
Jeanine Meyer Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the state council of Service Employees International Union, representing 750,000 workers statewide, was upset by spending restraints and billions in budget cuts in the proposal.
"We're making it clear to all the legislators that if they vote for this, they're not representing our members," she said.
This morning's Republican press release painted the budget as a necessary evil, so the skids are being greased for passage. Still, with nobody owning the bill and lots of variables, it's entirely possible that it goes down tomorrow. Given some of the details, I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. But clearly, tomorrow should be... interesting.