Capitol Coup

Republicans oust leader amid strained budget talks

New developments in California's budget battle could pose a major setback.  Early Wednesday morning Republicans in the Senate ousted their leader, a move that could send everyone back to the drawing board.

Thousands of jobs and funding for hundreds of public works projects are hanging in the balance. 

Republicans in the Senate ousted leader Sen. Dave Cogdill, replacing him with Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murietta, whom they saw as more capable of resisting tax increases.  The change in leadership could derail the progress made over tireless days of debate.

The current package contains billions in tax hikes, spending cuts and borrowing.  The budget has been one GOP vote short of being passed.  Republicans have opposed the tax increases associated with the plan.  But the pressure to pass a vote intensified Tuesday as 20,000 layoff notices went out to state employees and 276 construction projects around the state were ordered to be shut down by Thursday.'s media partner, the North County Times, reported the state ordered a cutoff of $5.8 million for a horticulture project at Mira Costa College, $2.4 million for traffic synchronization along I-15 in San Diego and Poway, nearly $650,000 for traffic synchronization of San Marcos Blvd. in San Marcos and more than $200,000 thousand for a similar project in Vista.

It's still unclear how the change in leadership within the state Senate will impact any progress made in the struggle to reach a compromise.  The Senate leader said the chamber would remain in continuous session until it passes a plan.

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