By James Rufus Koren Staff Writer
Posted: 03/25/2011 10:59:52 PM PDT
The past week saw lawmakers come to a standstill over the state budget, with little or no progress being made since March 16 and 17, when legislators approved several bills calling for cuts in state spending.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on those cuts Thursday, but it’s otherwise been a slow week in Sacramento as Brown and the Legislature continue to try to close the state’s $26 billion deficit.
“There’s no movement that I know of,” said Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter, D-Rialto. “The Senate, Assembly and governor are still negotiating.”
Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, said he didn’t know what to expect coming into the week, after two lengthy days of budget voting the week before. Now, he said a budget could still be a long way off.
“I don’t think anything’s close at this point,” he said.
Lawmakers are on call this weekend – meaning they’re supposed to stay within a few hours of Sacramento – but Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucaipa, said he doesn’t expect any big developments in the next few days.
“I don’t think we’re going back until Tuesday,” said Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucaipa. “I think next week is going to be very interesting.”
The cuts approved by Brown and the Legislature will come largely from health, welfare and higher education programs. They are essentially the same cuts Brown asked for in his January budget proposal.
The cuts were coupled with plans to take money from local redevelopment agencies and to ask voters to extend a set of tax increases for another five years. But the Legislature hasn’t approved either of those elements and all but a few Republicans have said they will not support placing the tax extension measure on a special election ballot, leaving Brown’s budget stranded for now.
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