State budget stalemate persists

California legislators with plans to go to the national presidential nomination conventions may want to check out the cancellation policy on their airline tickets.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata warned in a statement to reporters in Sacramento today that there’s no reason to believe the budget impasse will end in time for members to jet off to Denver for the Democratic Party’s convention on Aug. 25.

“I have told everybody that if they want to spend one weekend or the other in Denver, go right ahead, but don’t plan to be there for the (Democratic National) Convention,” Perata said. “I don’t see this ending for quite some time.”

It sounds grim. Read more for the full release.

Perata Comments on Budget Negotiations

(SACRAMENTO) – Senate President pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) made the following remarks to reporters today about state budget negotiations:

“The fact that the governor now has said we cannot balance this budget, we cannot get through the next three or four years, without at least a temporary tax I think is a step in the right direction.”

“I’m glad that he stepped up to this, but let’s be clear, he doesn’t have any support in his own party yet for this, and unless he can get Republicans to agree with his point of view, we could be here for an extended period of time.”

“They (Republicans) are very narrow about what they want to discuss and even more narrow on the things they’re willing to agree to. So, we are now at loggerheads. This is an impasse. There are no four-way discussions going on any longer because there are no solutions here.”

“People have asked why don’t we put ours (budget) up (for a vote), and we may well have to. Everybody might say well that’s a drill, except for the fact we are 35 days overdue and there is no end in sight and we are going to have to go out and borrow some very expensive money.”

“I have told everybody that if they want to spend one weekend or the other in Denver, go right ahead, but don’t plan to be there for the (Democratic National) Convention. I don’t see this ending for quite sometime.”

“The governor also wants automatic midterm authority cuts. Well, we’re not going to do that. You don’t get to go to Hawaii and have these things take care of themselves. If you are going to have any cutting authority at all, you’re going to have to pull the trigger, but you’re not going to do it around the Legislature. I don’t care if the Democrats or Republicans are in the majority, you can’t take us constitutionally out of the process of approving expenditures. That’s what they want to do, and we won’t do that. It’s just simply not the way three branches of government work.”

“They (Republicans) have a huge list of ‘we don’t like ‘ems,’ but they have not brought anything up. They said they want a hard spending cap. There is no proposal. They say they want to borrow, and they only come up with $3 or $4 billion to close an $8 billion gap. So, everything they want to do they have refused or failed to provide a proposal.”

“All during the budget hearings, all during the conference committee, they never once proposed any alternative to the budget. So the burden is really now on them. If they want to let the great state of California slide into Arkansas, that’s going to be on them. But they have got to come up with proposals, and they have not done it.”

Lisa Vorderbrueggen