With a deal to close the budget deficit with the help of tax extensions yet to emerge, members of the Senate have been asked to come to the floor this week prepared for story time.
The office of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who had set tomorrow as a goal to hold a budget vote, has informed members on both sides of the aisle that this week's floor sessions will include sharing testimony from school and public safety officials on the adverse effects of an all-cuts alternative.
"The pro tem is asking all senators to call their sheriffs and the superintendents of their school districts in their Senate districts and get short letters from each of them, describing the cuts they will have to make, worst case scenario (if the Senate must pass a budget without continuing existing revenues)," Kathy Dresslar, Steinberg's chief of staff, wrote in an email to the chief of staff for the Senate Republican Caucus.
"Our floor session on Wednesday and Thursday will include reading these letters aloud on the floor of the Senate," her email added.
A spokeswoman for GOP Senate leader Bob Dutton has yet to issue a response to Steinberg's request, though it's unlikely that Senate Republicans, who have largely opposed Gov. Jerry Brown's tax proposal, would take to the floor to wax poetic on the dangers of more cuts.
Steinberg spokesman Mark Hedlund said the intent of the request "is to have an opportunity to hear from stakeholders about the impacts of the budget."
Tomorrow's scheduled floor session has been tentatively canceled, and members have been instructed to remain on call for possible sessions during the remainder of the week. Hedlund said that Steinberg is still aiming to take up budget bills this week.