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Education groups no longer support Democratic budget plan [Updated]

August 12, 2010 | 12:55 pm

Sometimes in Sacramento, things need to move further apart before they can come together.

If that's true, then maybe what's been happening in state budget negotiations this week can be seen as progress. First, Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) said negotiations would have to start from the beginning if there is no deal in place before he hands over the reins of his caucus to incoming Senate GOP leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) in early September.

[Updated: 4:28 p.m. -- A Hollingsworth spokesman said Thursday that Hollingsworth and Dutton are of like minds on budget negotiations, and if progress is made between Democrats and Republicans on a budget deal, he expects Dutton would support and uphold those agreements.] 

Now, the powerful education lobby, a key backer of Speaker John Perez's budget plan, says it no longer supports the Democratic budget proposal.

The revised budget plan unveiled by Perez and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), calls for suspending Proposition 98, the constitutional provision that guarantees funding for K-12 schools and community colleges. The new proposal funds schools at about $3 billion below the Proposition 98 guarantee.

"We haven't taken an official position on the whole proposal, but we are opposed to the proposed suspension of Proposition 98," said Education Coalition spokeswoman Robin Swanson. "That part of the Democratic proposal is a problem."

But Swanson said the Democratic plan was "still light-years ahead of the governor's proposal."

-- Anthony York in Sacramento