News

Skinny

It’s that time again, boys and girls. One last three-day work week until the Legislature returns for the much-vaunted special session. Anyone else out their holding there breath to see what happens when lawmakers return on Dec. 6? Here is one vote for a big, fat nothing. As much as governor-in-waiting Jerry Brown would like someone else to take billions worth of the state budget mess off his plate before walking in to the horseshoe, the mistrust between legislative leaders and Schwarzenegger is likely to carry the day. The main problem? If lawmakers send Schwarzenegger any kind of amended budget plan, it could give the outgoing governor authority to reopen, and blue-pencil, anything in the entire state budget. That’s what happened in 2009, and the courts affirmed the governor’s right to do it. So Democrats we talk to say it’s just too risky to give Schwarzenegger that final opportunity. And so, it appears, the Schwarzenegger years will end in fitting fashion – with a $25 billion budget deficit and a special session unlikely to produce any action. But it also means lawmakers will have just 17 days after the inaugural to send Jerry Brown their plans to whack $6 billion out of the current year budget. Welcome to the game, Mr. Brown


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