Democrats, Republicans set to vote on competing budget plans
First, the good news: Nearly two months into the new fiscal year, both houses of the Legislature are planning to vote on state budget plans Tuesday.
The bad news? Neither plan coming up for a vote Tuesday is expected to get the two-thirds approval required to move on to the governor's desk.
And so, barring some kind of miracle, the state will begin September without a spending plan in place. Tuesday's vote is little more than a statement of principle, with Democrats voting to save key social programs and Republicans refusing to support a spending plan that would require tax increases.
Republicans are expected to support Gov. Schwarzenegger's plan, with a couple of exceptions. Republicans and Democrats differ on about $4 billion in budget solutions -- a gap that Democrats want to fill by delaying corporate tax cuts and with an elaborate, multibillion-dollar tax swap proposal that would increase several state taxes but decrease Californians' federal tax burden.
-- Anthony York in Sacramento