GOP Coup May Be New Block to Budget Resolution

Here we go again.

A delicate budget fix crafted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders was on the brink of collapse early Wednesday after a dramatic move by Republicans in the state Senate.

The Republicans ousted their leader in a late-night coup over tax hikes, replacing Modesto's Sen. Dave Cogdill with anti-tax hard-liner Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth of Murietta.

Lawmakers view the leadership change as a major setback after they fell short by just one GOP vote, but Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg said he didn't want to speculate what it would mean for the package.

But Hollingsworth did not waffle on where he's coming from; he said Wednesday morning that he doesn't want a tax increase passed.
The current package contains billions in tax hikes, spending cuts and borrowing. It took leaders more than three months to put together but still the state has not passed the midyear budget fix that's needed to avoid fiscal calamity.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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