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Brown's Budget Vote "Drill"

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Brown's Budget Vote "Drill"

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SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 10: California Governor Jerry Brown speaks to reporters as he announces his proposed budget at the California State Capitol on January 10, 2011 in Sacramento, California. Governor Brown announced a balanced state budget that cuts spending by $12.5 billion and includes an eight to ten percent cut in take home pay for state employees and proposes a "vast and historic" restructuring of government operations. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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State lawmakers got down to the tough work of the state's budget Wednesday. Both the state Assembly and the Senate convened at 1 p.m. to take on Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal.

KCRA reported both houses immediately went into closed-door, single-party caucus meetings which caused one lawmaker to make light of the meeting that only lasted a few minutes.

"It's a drill," Sen. Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore told KCRA, "brought to you by Black & Decker.

Late in the day it did not appear the larger group would reconvene anytime Wednesday which means a vote on the budget was off the table for now.

Lawmakers were meeting on the budget in spite of the fact there was no evidence Brown had the votes he needs to get it passed. He needs two Republicans in each house to side with him and for now, no one is budging.

The governor wants to close the state's $26.6 billion deficit by cutting $12.5 billion in spending and extending temporary increases in the sales, personal income and vehicle taxes. He can't extend the taxes without the voters' approval.

Prop Zero's Larry Gerston says there are three possible outcomes:

  1. Democrats will convince Republicans to come to their side after last minute negotiations.
  2. Democrats fail to get Republican support, which means the cuts will fall short of $12 billion and will lead to a revised budget which will have to be worked out in the weeks to come.
  3. Democrats will hold back the vote for another day or two because they think they have a chance of Republican movement.

Also Wednesday, a new polls was released that showed a majority of Californians support the governor's approach of a ballot measure to decide the tax question.

The Field Poll also found 58 percent of registered voters said they would vote to extend the tax increases.

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