Over a month and a half past the constitutional deadline to enact a budget, only $4 billion is separating Republicans and Democrats in their negotiations. Only.
In related budget-news, Democrat John Laird, a professor, and Republican Sam Blakeslee, a millionaire, go head-to-head tomorrow night in a campaign that has brought out the big guns including an endorsement from President Barack Obama. This is because tomorrow’s special election to replace Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado in California’s 15th state Senate district could bring the blue team within one vote of the two-thirds majority the Senate needs to pass budgets and tax increases. Despite who wins they’ll have to make the best of things, it’s an uphill climb.
In his weekly address, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he is, “calling on the legislators to pass this budget reform along with pension and tax reform so we can move this great state and its people forward, not backward.“ The governor’s budget reform creates a Rainy Day Fund which would be up to 12.5 percent of the General Fund.
Last week at their annual convention, the governor told the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce he has been fighting for the Rainy Day Fund since his first year in office, but it is now quite clear that Schwarzenegger’s highest priority during the remaining months of his governorship is fighting Prop 23 on the November ballot.
Armando Botello II is a communications associate at California Forward.