Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

The Assembly's budget session on the Democrats' latest budget proposal lasted into the night Tuesday.

Republicans, as they have throughout the year, blocked passage, standing firm in their opposition to any new taxes to solve Califronia's nearly $40 billion deficit through July 2010.

No one seemed too surprised. Partisan tensions ran high during much of the debate.

The state Senate takes its budgetary turn this evening, with a 5 p.m. floor session.

Plans are afoot in the upper house, led by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, to craft a majority-vote package that could pass without GOP support.

Meanwhile, today the Pooled Money Investment Board will vote to suspend financing of infrastructure projects across California.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer has released a detailed list of infrastructure projects that would be affected.

The board -- composed of Lockyer, Finance Director Mike Genest and Controller John Chiang -- meets at 10 a.m.

At 1 p.m., Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will return to the site of one of his signature events of the recall campaign -- the California State Railroad Museum.

Schwarzenegger will tout the passage of Proposition 11, the redistricting measure, and promise more political reforms going forward.

Open primaries anyone?

The railroad museum location is all about symbolism, as the state's pioneering political reformer Gov. Hirman Johnson led a series of reforms to curb the influence of railroad barons.

Five years and three months ago, Schwarzenegger declared there that in Sacramento, "the contributions go in, the favors go out, and the people are punished with wasteful spending and high taxes."

He promised a fundraising ban during while negotiating the budget, overhauling redistricting, better open records laws, and to veto any bill that didn't receive a full public hearing.

After the success of the Proposition 11 campaign, Schwarzenegger seems destined to continue to use the Legislature as his foil for political reform.

You know, creating things like a ticking deficit clock.


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