Even though he says the state of California is losing $52 million per day during its budget impasse, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday there is no reason to call a special legislative session to solve the problem.
Lawmakers worked a marathon day and night Tuesday, but failed to come to any budget agreement. Tuesday was the last official day of the legislative session. It appears everyone will be able to go home for the Labor Day weekend. The next budget negotiation date is unknown.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said the budget impasse could extend until November.
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Schwarzenegger also said meetings with the so-called Big 5 -- the top five lawmakers in the state -- aren't always the most productive way to work toward a budget solution.
California is two months into its 2010-11 fiscal year and still has no budget. Payments to schools and counties are being deferred, while some health clinics that serve Medi-Cal patients are struggling to pay their bills.
The budget vote failure did not surprise Schwarzenegger. He said during an appearance in San Francisco yesterday that he did not think the budget vote would pass. He dismissed it as "kabuki" theater.
Schwarzenegger blamed legislators for the delays, saying he always submits his budgets on time.
"They always start negotiating too late," he said Tuesday.
Right now, parties at the state Capitol are at odds over the fix: Democrats want a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, while Republicans want only cuts.
The governor said there should be no new taxes to help fill the California's $19 billion budget deficit. But Schwarzenegger said he doesn't want just spending cuts; he also wants fund shifts and federal funds to help solve the deficit.
He said it's time for Sacramento to "stop the insanity" and "live within its means."
Schwarzenegger also defended an upcoming trade mission to Asia despite the lack of a state budget.