The following e-mail from Assembly Republican Leader Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, was sent to Assembly Republican Caucus members Tuesday. Blakeslee indicated Democrats have been back-peddling on an agreement about corrections cuts — and now the entire budget deal may be in peril.
Senate staff is set to brief the media this afternoon on the corrections cuts, and some Assembly Republicans were still hopeful that a deal could be worked out. But if it is not resolved, this issue could threaten the entire budget deal.
Here's the e-mail:
From: (Sam Blakeslee)
Date: July 21, 2009 3:21:24 PM PDT
To: (Assembly Republican Caucus)
Subject: Budget Double-Cross?
Throughout budget negotiations we insisted that Republican votes would never be provided for a budget deal that included early release of prisoners.
Our caucus and staff developed a cut strategy for corrections that provided the necessary savings to close the deficit without risking public safety.
We had a clear understanding with the democrats that NO corrections bill would be a part of the budget and that we would have an honest chance to contest the policy issues in the light of day in August.
Just two hours ago I learned from staff that Senate democrats are concocting a radioactive corrections bill that includeds the worst of the worst _ sentencing commission and release of 27,000 prisoners, etc
When I spoke with Dennis he was as surprised and upset as I was regarding what appears to be a serious breach of the agreement in the Big 5.
I have called and personally told both Karen and Darrell that their will be no republican votes for any portion of the budget if they allow such a bill to be part of the package.
I will keep you posted.