California State Senate Chamber, State Capitol, Sacramento, California
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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ and outside pressure â€“ 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:
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
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
Technorati Tags: Abel Maldonado, California, California State Budget, Arnold Schwarzenegger