With Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger feeling ill and stuck in Los Angeles, legislative leaders will fly south to resume budget talks with him Wednesday.
State leaders already have canceled two days of talks because Schwarzenegger got sick after a six-day trade mission to Asia last week. Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the governor has "nothing serious, just a cold."
"We ran pretty hard when we were gone," McLear said of the Asia trip. "I imagine he's just run down. It's been four years since I've been with him, and he has not been sick since I've been here."
McLear explained that the leaders have to hold talks in Los Angeles, as opposed to his Capitol office, because the governor hasn't been able to fly to Sacramento.
All four legislative leaders and Schwarzenegger are expected to attend talks tomorrow at 1 p.m. The location is still under discussion. Potential sites are the governor's private office in Santa Monica or the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles. (Oddly enough, part of the budget deal may hinge on selling the Ronald Reagan building, along with 10 other properties, to raise immediate cash to help bridge the $19 billion deficit.)
They are prepared to meet again Thursday in Los Angeles, though that depends on the state of negotiations after tomorrow's meeting.
Today marks the 83rd day that the state has gone without a budget. State leaders are poised to break the record after Thursday.
McLear said Schwarzenegger did his job by proposing budgets in January and May. "Now, in the last 83 days, the Legislature has failed to do its job," he said.
Still, without the governor, budget talks ground to a halt the last two days and while he was in Asia. Democratic leaders grew impatient with the governor's illness Tuesday. Alicia Trost, spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, posted on Twitter, "Sick of sitting around sacramento waiting for things 2 happen on the budget, Steinberg packing his bags, flying 2 LA to meet w/ Gov 2morrow."
Outside the Capitol, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez told a handful of reporters, "We're waiting for Big 5. We are waiting for him."