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Archive for February 16th, 2009

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California State Senate Chamber, State Capitol, Sacramento, California

After a weekend of a continued California State Budget stalemate, the California Assembly and Senate are to meet this morning to again take up the matter.

Dan Walters at the Sacramento Bee has a good summary of the weekend’s machinations – which at the time of this posting seemingly has NO end in sight.

Even jaded veterans of the Capitol’s often bizarre internal politics had never seen anything quite like the weekend marathon over the biggest package of spending, spending cuts and taxes ever to hit the building – a spectacle that’s still playing itself out with no end in sight.

The package was cobbled together by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and four legislative leaders in weeks of private negotiations to close a $40 billion budget deficit over the next 16 months.

Legislators had just hours to absorb the dozens of bills, the most vital of which, under the state’s unusual voting rules, required two-thirds votes and therefore at least three Republicans in both legislative houses.

The outcome was never in doubt in the Assembly, whose GOP leader, Mike Villines, enjoys strong support among his colleagues. The issue has been the Senate’s 15-member, notoriously fragmented Republican contingent whose leader, Dave Cogdill, is always about one vote away from being dumped – if anyone else would take the job.

Cogdill would vote for the package along with Bakersfield Sen. Roy Ashburn, but the third GOP senator was elusive throughout the weekend as speculation – and outside pressure – shifted from one senator to another.

Flap has been covering and micro-blogging the events in the California Assembly and State Senate on Twitter (right sidebar) and Facebook (right sidebar, but below). Continuing coverage will resume at 9 AM PST (now pushed back to Noon) with the Assembly and 11 AM with the State Senate.

If you readers wish to watch the proceedings via live video you can do so in two ways:

  • Time Warner Cable Television Channel 233 (Los Angeles area) – California Channel
  • Online California Channel here (But, this has proven to be erratic due to too much traffic)

The latest rumor from the Capitol is that Senator Abel Maldonado is negotiating with Big 5 Legislative Leaders and Governor. He will provide the necessary vote to approve tax increases and the state budget in return for a vote on a spending cap initiative, plus a vote on a California Open Primary (Top 2 Washington Plan) election system on the May 19, 2009 special election (called to approve other budgetary enabling measures, including bonds for future lottery proceeds).

So, the question is: Will GOP Senator Abel Maldonado flip to the Democrats and Governor Schwarzenegger and sell out California taxpayers?

Contact one of his offices and ask him:

Capitol Office

State Capitol, Room 4082
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4015
Fax: (916) 445-8081
   
San Jose Office

100 Paseo de San Antonio, #206
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 277-9461
Fax: (408) 277-9464

Monterey Office

590 Calle Principal
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: (831) 657-6315
Fax: (831) 657-6320
   
San Luis Obispo Office

1356 Marsh Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: (805) 549-3784
Fax: (805) 549-3779


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Day By Day 021609

Day By Day by Chris Muir

Chris, why are you being so cynical over President Obama, wife Michele and the Democrat/Obama Economic Stimulus Plan?

Don’t you know we will receive a few crumbs of the exploding national debt – what is it $13 per week? And, some new infrastructure improvements that our children and grandchildren will pay for.

Such a deal.

In the meantime, the banking sector is still broken from all of those bad housing loans to unworthy credit home buyers that Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd forced on the lenders.

So, the Obamas had a nice vacation on President Day in Chicago? Then, again how much did it cost in security and transportation for the President to travel there? If the bankers and auto CEOs are brow beat in Congress by Obama’s party about their private airplanes and perks, why not criticize “The One?”

Are we allowed?

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The Day By Day Archive


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  • The plan under discussion would nearly double vehicle license fees, raise sales taxes by 1 cent, increase gasoline taxes by 12 cents a gallon and add a surcharge of as much as 5% to Californians' income tax bills. It also would reduce the dependent care credit for families by about $200 a year. These tax hikes would be temporary.

    The package also would eliminate $15.1 billion in government services and borrow $11.4 billion, some of which would be erased by the stimulus package Congress recently approved. It also contains about $1 billion in tax breaks for businesses.

  • One vote shy of a budget deal, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday pressured reluctant Republicans in the Legislature to pass a complex plan to close the state's $42 billion deficit.

    Many Republicans are unwilling to raise taxes to deal with the state's historic deficit, but at least three GOP votes were needed in each house for the two-thirds majority required to pass the budget.

    "My guess is everybody's arm is getting twisted," said Sen. Dave Cox, a Republican who had been among the Democrats' best hopes for a deal. "My answer is no, and I'm not looking for additional information. I've made my decision."

  • Sen. Abel Maldonado said this afternoon he's open to providing the final Republican budget vote needed to close the deal on the state's $40 billion budget shortfall.

    Hours after he told the San Jose Mercury News, "There's nothing they can give me that would make me vote for this budget," Maldonado said he was open to the idea if the roughly $15 billion tax increase package can be massaged to his liking.

    "I'm very concerned with the tax package," he said before the Senate recessed until 3:30 p.m. "We're still working on that. Everything's fluid… I don't want my state to go off the cliff, OK? I don't want that."

    Maldonado, a moderate Republican from Santa Maria, did not say what changes he wanted. He noted that he had provided tough budget votes in year's past.

  • Sacramento Bee online editorial asking Senator Cox to sell out California taxpayers.
  • Despite a long night of frantic negotiations, legislative leaders are still struggling to find enough Republican votes to pass a bill that would close California's $42 billion budget gap and end 102 days of partisan gridlock.
    Only a single Republican, Senate Minority Leader Dave Cogdill, voted for the budget bill when it came up in the Senate Saturday evening, while state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, did not vote. Senate leaders left the bill open for possible vote changes, but it will only pass if Cogdill can somehow find two more GOP votes.

    Thoughout the night, Cogdill, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cajoled reluctant Republicans, trying to convince them to provide those final needed votes, but to no avail.

  • One vote shy of a budget deal, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday pressured reluctant Republicans in the state Legislature to pass a complex plan to close the state's $42 billion deficit.

    The head of the state Assembly locked the chamber down, forcing members to remain as the measure stalled in the Senate.

    Many California Republicans are unwilling to raise taxes to deal with the state's historic deficit, but at least three GOP voters were needed in each house for the two-thirds majority required to pass the budget.

    "My guess is everybody's arm is getting twisted," said Sen. Dave Cox, a Republican who had been the among Democrats' best hopes for a deal. "My answer is no, and I'm not looking for additional information. I've made my decision."

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