This is getting to resemble one of those movies where there's no one to root for. From Capitol Alert:
--Senate Republicans now say they're willing to place a tax proposal on the fall ballot, provided that voters are also asked to consider provisions for pension cuts and a spending cap. But they refuse to go along with a tax extension from now until then because they say that the state's larger-than-expected revenue gains makes the tax bridge unnecessary.
--Gov. Jerry Brown's Press Secretary said the Republicans were "grandstanding without solving problems...We could have had regulatory reform, a spending cap and pension reform--without a bridge--in March."
--Brown says he continues to negotiate with Republicans on a budget plan that would include tax extensions (and require Republican help to pass). Thing is, he's been saying the same thing for months - and apparently with little success.
--Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says that Brown's budget plan is all but dead. Democrats are working on a new plan that won't require Republican votes.
--Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton wants the pension measure to be separate from the tax proposal. The Democrats want to have all three special election measures tied together.
--More talk about Controller John Chiang being sued for his decision to stop paying lawmakers, despite the legislature passing a budget.
The Economist sums things up:
Mr Brown's Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, used to call the ritualised drama that is California's budget process a "kabuki". But Japanese kabuki plots only start ridiculous and complicated, before speeding up and resolving themselves with a cathartic bang in the fifth act. California will be lucky if it follows such a script. Indeed, Mr Brown's second spell of governorship now runs the risk of failing in its first year.