Calif. state budget fails to pass

SACRAMENTO The state Senate failed to pass a spending plan on Friday. The plan was similar to one proposed last week by Governor Schwarzenegger.

The Senate budget proposal was doomed largely because it contained a temporary one-cent sales tax increase.

It's similar to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R-California) tax hike. However, the sales tax would not fall below today's rate after three years like the Governor wanted.

"This the Governor's proposal 'light.' We didn't even like the Governor's proposal," said State Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced).

Republicans even threw the Democratic presidential nominee's words right back.

"I would have to agree with Senator Barack Obama last night, who said, quote, 'In an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class,'" said State Senator Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks).

When it was clear the budget would be three votes short, a visibly angry Senate president scolded the Republicans for not offering their own proposal on how to close the $15 billion deficit.

"I don't know any kind of negotiation where you say, 'Hey, let's talk, but we're not willing to talk about the following things.' If you went to a marriage counselor, and you weren't willing to talk about my anger, how in the hell are you going to get anywhere?" said State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland).

The Republican Presidential Convention is next week, and with no budget deal close at hand, some lawmakers may go. Senator Abe Maldonado is scheduled to speak at the convention.

As California closes in on the latest state budget ever, it cannot pay Cal-Grant student financial aid, special education programs, trial courts, vendors and Medi-Cal providers.

The Robertson Adult Day Care Center is at wits' end waiting for state funding.

"We're tired of waiting. It's frustrating. We're running out of money. We can't keep our doors open much longer," said adult day care provider Jim MacDonald.

The latest vote shows the Senate needs three Republicans to crossover in order to pass the budget.

Orange County Democrat Lou Correa ran on a no-taxes platform. He abstained from voting on Friday.


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