Assembly Locked Down; Budget Plan Defeated
State lawmakers were locked into the Assembly Chambers for hours last night….but even that couldn’t force them into a budget deal.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Early in the evening Republicans defeated a
Democratic budget that included a temporary sales tax hike, a tax on oil
production and a nickel-a-drink tax on alcohol.
But Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
kept lawmakers in session for about four hours after that. She said they planned to vote on the
Republican budget proposal. However,
just before 11 p.m., she announced it
wasn’t ready, and lawmakers adjourned. Earlier
in the day Bass defended the decision to call for a vote, despite the
“you know what, it’s a catch 22, because if we don’t
vote on anything, people see us as doing nothing. I really feel that it is important and imperative that we vote and that we try.”
Bass says they’ll meet tomorrow (Wednesday)
to vote on the Republican budget proposal, which includes about 15 billion in
cuts and no new taxes. A session is
scheduled in the Senate as well.
California faces a shortfall
of roughly 40 billion dollars over the next year and-a-half. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer has warned that
bond funding for public works projects is in jeopardy without a balanced
budget. Funding for some projects could
be yanked as early as today.