Budget Talks Expected This Week at Capitol

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, May 30, 2005

Assembly Democrats are expected to unveil their alternative budget Tuesday afternoon.  Republican Assembly leader Kevin McCarthy says Governor Schwarzenegger and Republicans in the legislature have been waiting for this since January.

  "Finally now we can start moving and have budget talks ‘cause the Democrats have not produced a budget yet and the Republicans have produced two budgets.  So it’s hard to have negotiations if you don’t know where the other side is at, even though they said they would give us one."

  The Democrats’ alternative is widely expected to include some kind of tax increase to pay for the several billion dollars in school spending they say Governor Schwarzenegger owes.  Democrat John Laird is chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.

  "The one main remaining issue is funding education, and so, we’re most of the way there.  And I think with some short amount of negotiation, we could get a budget on time."

  The two-house budget conference committee is also scheduled to begin meeting this week.  The deadline for passing the annual budget bill – a deadline usually missed – is June fifteenth.