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Who's to blame for collapse of California budget talks?

March 31, 2011 |  7:45 am


Talk back LA The blame game is already being played in Sacramento after budget talks failed.

Times columnist George Skelton put it this way: "It's another sorry saga in Sacramento: Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature botching the governor's Plan A for healing the bleeding budget. Who's to blame? And what now? The first question is easy to answer: Blame everyone and everything."

In a news analysis, Times reporters Evan Halper and Michael J. Mishak offered this assessment:
The Democratic governor and legislative leaders offered the GOP a rare chance to shape key policies -- and mitigate several that were forged on the other side of the aisle over more than a decade. GOP legislation was suddenly on the front burner. Rolling back government employee pensions, easing regulations on business, limiting the growth of government all seemed within reach.

The price for this potential bounty was four votes, the ones Gov. Jerry Brown needed to place a tax measure before voters. Not an endorsement of more taxes, just a vote to let voters decide the matter.

Today, after the collapse of those negotiations, many in the Capitol are asking whether, in declining to provide those four "ayes," the Republicans have cemented their fate as a dying minority party in this largely Democratic state.

Who is to blame for the breakdown and where do we go from here? Share your thoughts?

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Getty Images