Gino DiCaro

Deal or No Deal?

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Sept. 17, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Is that show even still on?   Who knew California’s budget process could parallel a TV production that left audiences clinging to a never-ending and often disastrous cycle of "no-deal"?

Fresh off the Governor’s return from an Asia “Buy California” business trip, he and legislative leaders engaged in nearly three hours of negotiations on Thursday. This was one of the more lengthy, if not substantive, discussions the “Big 5” have had since the start of the new fiscal year began 79 days ago.

The length of the discussion led to some speculation that a deal may be closer than originally thought, however other indicators show some disagreement on that point. The Democrat leaders came out of the meeting with some optimism that a deal could be reached within the next few days, but the Governor voiced displeasure at how little progress had been made during his absence. He expressed that there have been “no major breakthroughs at all” and that the group continues to be “just kind of working through all the issues.”  The Republican legislative leadership on the other hand decided to leave without providing comment, so as not to say anything that could be construed as progress or lack thereof.

Currently, the major sticking points appear to be centered around how much in cuts to make. Additionally, the Democrat leadership has suggested that the Governor first needs to finish the collective bargaining agreements with state employee unions before a final agreement can be made in some of these areas, especially if pension and tax reform are to remain on the table.

So, back to the original question:  Deal or no deal?

The Big 5 negotiations resume today, September 17th.

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