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With closed-door talks continuing, the Assembly will not vote on a prison budget-cutting plan today after all.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has been meeting with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and advocacy groups, including law enforcement, in an attempt to reach consensus, said Shannon Murphy, Bass' spokeswoman.

"There were a number of calls and meetings throughout the weekend with various stakeholders, including law enforcement," Bass said in a written statement today. "Those conversations are continuing.

"When we arrive at a responsible plan that can earn the support of the majority of the Assembly and makes sense to the people of California, we will take that bill up on the Assembly floor."

The Senate narrowly passed a wide-ranging prison plan Thursday, 21-19, but the Assembly balked at supporting it after spending much of that afternoon and evening crafting amendments.

Unable to reach consensus on either the Senate plan or Assembly amendments, the lower house adjourned at midnight without taking a vote. Passage requires a majority vote, 41 of 80 members. Republicans oppose both versions.

In a Friday morning news conference minutes after adjournment of last week's marathon session, Bass said she was not sure that either the Senate or Assembly version had majority support in her house.

"The caucus was exhausted," she said at the time. "There are still several members that have issues with various parts of the bill."

Bass initially said she planned to tackle the prison budget-cutting legislation when lawmakers reconvene today, but that plan ultimately changed. Murphy said talks will continue but no vote will be taken.

California is under judicial and budgetary pressure to overhaul its prison system, which has nearly twice the number of inmates it was designed to house.

Schwarzenegger and legislators last month committed to a $1.2 billion reduction, but left unresolved how that cut would be implemented, prompting this week's wrangling over the issue.



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