After a week of name calling and communication breakdown,
the budget negotiators ended this week on their best
behavior, with long Big 5 meetings and nebulous promises of progress toward
a budget deal.
AP's Judy Lin reports, "Against a
backdrop of IOUs and expanding government furloughs,
Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders expressed optimism Saturday that
they were moving toward a compromise that could end California's fiscal
"Negotiations to close the state's $26.3 billion
deficit restarted after two weeks of inaction and partisan
Top lawmakers from both parties said a budget-balancing deal was
possible in the coming week.
"I would say we're getting very
close to a general framework, but there are still outlying
said Assembly Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee, a San Luis Obispo
Republican, after emerging from a closed-door meeting between lawmakers
"They negotiated about 2½ hours Saturday
before ending talks for the day. Senate Minority Leader
Hollingsworth, who left Friday's meeting smelling of cigars, stayed on
to smoke with Schwarzenegger's chief of staff in the courtyard of the
governor's office. Negotiators were expected to return to the
AP's Samantha Young reports that despite the progress,
a deal remains elusive .
Lawmakers from both parties said Sunday that they had
after a weekend of closed-door meetings at the Capitol, but
acknowledged a deal remained elusive. It was unclear
leaders would reconvene for talks.
"We have several more days to go," said state Assembly Speaker Karen
Bass, D-Los Angeles. "I think what's most important is the talks have
not broken down.
"Lawmakers remained at odds over how to close the budget
despite a consensus that severe spending cuts were
Schwarzenegger also wanted to seek out waste and abuse
in-home support and health care programs. The governor's office has
said those reforms could save taxpayers roughly $1.7 billion this
"Over the weekend, lawmakers discussed some of those
reforms, as well
as proposals to consolidate state agencies to save
money and generate
revenue by selling state property.
"The biggest test will come in the next few days when
they expect to make difficult decisions about cuts
to education and
welfare. The legislative leaders must also win the
buy-in of their
respective caucuses once a deal is struck.
And we know what you're asking yourself: What does California have that Alaska doesn't have? The answer, of course, is Sarah Palin. Michael Blood reports the soon-to-be-former Alaska governor is coming to the Golden State.
"Details of Sarah Palin's plans after she steps
down as Alaska governor emerged Sunday after a California
group disclosed that the former vice presidential nominee
is slated to
appear at a private gala next month.
"Since announcing she plans to resign July 26, Palin hasn't
made clear if she intends to return to private life
office or will begin laying the foundation for a possible
bid in 2012.
"Republican Women Federated of Simi Valley said in a
statement that Palin is scheduled to appear at the
anniversary gala at the Ronald Reagan Presidential
Library on Aug. 8."
Mark your calendars...
Gene Maddus previews th 53rd Assembly District's Democratic primary, which is starting to feel like a bad episode of Melrose Place.
"First he took her furniture. Now he wants her seat.
Aldinger, a former Manhattan Beach city councilman,
is preparing to run
against his ex-girlfriend, Betsy Butler, for the 53rd Assembly District
(For those of you who may have forgotten Jim Aldinger,
check out this 2005 Capitol Weekly story...)
"Aldinger and Butler parted on bad terms about seven
ago. He refused to relinquish some furniture that she'd had delivered
to his house, and she had to sue him to retrieve it.
"In 2004, a judge ordered him to pay her $5,000.
candidates say that episode is in the past and should
not be relevant
to the coming campaign. But their history together
is likely to make
the race somewhat awkward, at the least, and also raises
about Aldinger's motives for running."
And finally, looks like the gay penguin saga in San Francisco has a new twist
-- a femme fatale.
"Linda the penguin has split up two male penguins who
lived as a nesting couple for six years at the San
Francisco Zoo, caretakers said.
"Male penguins Harry and Pepper had been so content
were allowed to incubate and hatch an egg laid by another
penguin last year, zookeeper Anthony Brown said.
""To be completely anthropomorphizing, Linda seems conniving," Brown
said. "She's got her plan. I don't think she was wanting to be a single girl for too