No News Is No News - March 11, 2011
...or as we like to say "no gnus is no gnus."
I try not to bug you every day, but just got a flurry of circa 5pm emails wondering if there were any developments with the budget. For those done with work today, the answer is no and I'll email more if a deal comes about.
We're going to avoid saying that the Kabuki has become a Greek tragedy, but I'm nevertheless glad I don't make my living wagering on the budget likelihood. I'd say it's now only 25% that a deal comes together by Monday, although there continue to be significant reasons why it's seen as a deadline.
Monday is the deadline for the governor to call a special election in the 36th Congressional District, recently abandoned by Jane Harman. LA County elections officials feel very strongly that the special election for the congressional seat needs to be on the same day as a statewide special election for tax extensions, if one occurs.
Therefore, if Monday comes and goes without a budget deal, expect the governor to call the special for June 7 and use that as a tick-tock leverage point to get action in the next few days on a budget deal. Most insiders believe there is a blackout window from March 17-21 or so, as the state Republican convention will be in Sacramento.
I've written about it before, but there is an extremely narrow negotiating window on the policy issues of a budget deal. Go too far for the Republican votes, and you lose critical labor support for the tax measure (remember May 2009?). Go too far to the left, well, that's not even under consideration. Make no doubt about it, Democrat or Republican, any member that votes for this budget package may pay the ultimate political price at a future election. Nevertheless, I have not talked to a single legislator or staff member that believes that there is a legitimate "all-cuts" way out of this mess. We just don't know how to get to the right way out.
Don't forget, on Monday, our students are sponsoring a March in March to advocate against higher fees, deeper cuts and greater numbers of layoffs. They need your support and participation.
If you can get to Sacramento, we encourage you to join the students and demand that the Legislature votes to let you vote.. League staff will be making signs at our office on Sunday night, and we are fully committed to this event. Here's the latest information that we have:
March in March
March 14, 2011
California Automobile Museum
2200 Front Street, Sacramento,
Bus parking and staging, 7:00 – 9:30 AM
March to the Capitol begins at 10:00 AM
Rally on the Capitol's North Steps begins at 11:00 AM
Community College League of California
2017 O Street, Sacramento, California 95811
916.444.8641 . www.ccleague.org