So no budget last night despite an all-night session. Ultimately they came up one vote short in the Senate, which means that Mark Ridley-Thomas' vacated seat was crucial (although somebody else on the Yacht Party side probably would have bolted if he was still there). Brian Leubitz pretty much sums it up:
This process has been a disaster. The worst of everything that we've been going through for months, even years, with the Republicans. This is a fancy stick-up, with a patina of legitimacy. Who knows if a deal will be reached, but at this point there can be no question from the High Broderists who caused this. Every newspaper, every television station, every radio station should do what the Media News group did and call out the Republicans for their stickup of the state.
There's going to be some media anger, since they all uniformly praised this deal as the best that could be expected.
But the biggest failure here is that you never, NEVER announce a deal until you have the votes. That's just elementary. You get the votes first. Horrible work by the entire Big 5, which clearly is a broken process. In fact, it's probably due to the secrecy of the process that this didn't pass in the first place.
So now the state will get a lot of stimulus money that they probably can't even use because they don't have the cash reserves. The education cuts, most of which have to happen by March 15 to prepare for the next school year, will come down hard, maybe harder than necessary. Welfare recipients and students and those expecting a tax refund won't get their money. And the state will spiral downward, cutting against any upward movement from the stimulus.
Is it time for a federal mediator yet?
...they're still voting, by the way. John Myers' Twitter feed is one of the best sources for information. The Senate votes are still not attracting enough GOP votes to succeed.