Late Night With The Legislature, Day 2
Something's a-stirring for the second straight night in Sacramento. Scott Lay @ccleague and the indefatigable John Myers @KQED_CapNotes will have the best play-by-play. The Senate has scheduled a session but immediately went into party caucuses for meetings. If they do hit the floor, CalChannel will have it.
Basically, here's the latest: The Senate and Assembly have already passed majority-vote budget revisions that would fill the current deficit, but the Governor has vowed to veto them. The Assembly, with bipartisan support, passed three bills in a stop-gap measure, which would at least provide savings for $3 billion in fiscal year 08-09, which ends tomorrow, and would keep money flowing in state coffers for another few weeks, avoiding IOUs. The stop-gap consists entirely of cuts and gimmicky delays in funding, by the way. The Governor has no plan whatsoever to recoup that $3 billion if passage of the stop-gap fails by the deadline.
What the Governor has done is create a completely new budget plan with a day to go before the deadline. Some would call that deliberate. This "Plan B" budget would not eliminate Healthy Families, CalWORKS or Cal Grants, nor would it cut all funding for state parks, which was apparently a bridge too far. It would accept the one-day delay in state employee paychecks from June 30, 2010 to July 1, "saving" the state $1.2 billion. However, the new plan would borrow $2 billion from local governments, the maximum allowable under the old Prop. 1A; reduce state worker salaries, benefits and pensions; and make broader cuts over various different programs to make up the gap.
Schwarzenegger has appeared to back off from the worst cuts he proposed initially, a win for the grassroots and legislative Dems, but the steady stream of changes to his proposals, along with an insistence on the June 30 deadline for a full solution, have conspired to virtually assure that the deadline will be missed. This is the backdrop for tonight's Senate action. If they can get two GOP votes for the stop-gap solution, they can actually override a gubernatorial veto and set into law something to at least extend the process by a few weeks. I don't know about the likelihood of that, but the choices have become limited.
Meanwhile, the Yacht Party made a tiny ad buy on the budget to try and get people to notice they exist.
I'll monitor if anything interesting happens...
...and it looks like nothing interesting happened. They took a vote on the stop-gap, didn't get the 2/3 required to override Arnold's veto, and adjourned until tomorrow morning. Looks like we'll have late night with the legisature Day 3 tomorrow, as the midnight deadline looms.