The last day of the legislative session has arrived.
Legislators have until midnight tonight to approve bills introduced during the current two-year session. Both houses will meet this morning to kick off what could end up being a very long day of deal making and vote taking.
The Assembly and the Senate have acted on hundreds of bills during the final week of legislative business under the dome. But a handful of hot-button bills subject to last-minute lobbying and end-of-session amendments could still come up to vote in the coming hours.
With a special session on the yet-to-be brokered budget fix looming, lawmakers aren't expected to head home to their districts for long.
Speaking of that 62-day-late budget, both houses will put dueling proposals up for a vote today.
Legislative packages derived from plans detailed by legislative Democrats and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are scheduled to hit the floors of the Assembly and the Senate, though there's no expectation that either plan secures enough votes to advance.
So what's the point in holding a floor vote when a deal is far from being struck?
Legislative Republicans have downplayed the move as nothing more than a "drill" staged by Democrats who want to create the appearance that some action has been taken to patch the state's $19 billion deficit.
But Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told Bee colleague Kevin Yamamura that bringing the debate out of leadership negotiations and on to the floor could speed up the process of reaching a compromise.
Yamamura has more on what to expect from the budget votes here.
Inquiring minds can hear what Schwarzenegger has to say about the current state of the budget negotiations when the governor speaks at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's CitySummit 2010 forum. Schwarzenegger's 11 a.m. remarks will be webcast here.
SENATE 2010: GOP Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina makes a campaign stop in Fresno to talk about spending levels and call for an overhaul of the federal budget process. Fiorina will be joined by South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss for the 2:30 p.m. presser at Fowler Packing Company.
PRESSER: Opponents of Proposition 23 are holding a presser in Los Angeles today to unveil a report detailing the pollution citations racked up by two oil companies funding the push to suspend the state's landmark greenhouse gas emissions reduction law. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is scheduled to attend the 10:30 a.m.release of the report, which was conducted by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the California Environmental Justice Association.