California Budget,  Darrell Steinberg,  Steve Poizner

California State Senate Remains in LOCK DOWN – California Budget Stalemate Continues While Steinberg Vows to Continue

+++++ 11 AM Update+++++

New California State Senate Leader Dennis Hollingsworth has called for re-opening Big 5 California State Budget negotiations while taking taxes off of the table.

In a news conference with Senator Barbara Boxer, Senate Democrat Leader Darrell Steinberg rejects this approach and vows to continue to pursue one or two GOP Senators to vote for the current Big 5 proposal.

Cogdill ousted with a hug

State Senator Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, gets a hug from Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, after he was ousted as Senate Minority Leader at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009. In a late night move, Cogdill was voted out of his leadership position and replaced by Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Temecula

California State Senate Democrat Leader Darrell Steinberg continues to hold the Senate hostage and in “LOCK DOWN” (Senators cannot leave the Capitol) in an attempt to pass a California State Budget which includes tax increases.

The state Senate reconvened Wednesday morning and lifted the call on the tax-hike part of the legislative puzzle.

The roll was called and the votes remained unchanged around 8:30 a.m. 23 ayes. 12 noes.

Senate Democrats immediately called for a private caucus off the floor.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, in a brief interview, reiterated that the Democrats’ strategy remains the same, despite the ousting of GOP leader Dave Cogdill late last night.

“The question is does this mean we go back to square one and start over? Absolutely not,” the bleary-eyed Sacramento Democrat said.

He is “focused on gaining the one additional vote” needed to pass the budget, he said.

Negotiations continue with GOP Senator Abel Maldonado on his “WISH LIST” who voted NO on the budget late last night.

It seems to Flap that a TIME OUT should be called and a continuing resolution ala Steve Poizner should be considered along with a special election in May.

Stay tuned….

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