No Budge In Budget CrisisStandoffChaos

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Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

If you missed that cultural reference, then here's the straight ahead approach: the budget impasse is still an impasse.

Democratic legislative leaders summoned reporters this afternoon to announce that have now sent their recently approved budget package downstairs to the office of Governor Schwarzenegger (along with this letter).

You thought they'd already done that, right? Nope. The package of bills, including the now legally challenged majority-vote-tax increase, was being held in hopes that Dems could strike a deal with the guv to avoid him making good on his promise to veto the proposals.

Apparently, that plan of attack is now over. "We have agreed to virtually all of the governor's demands," said Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. "If he vetoes the bills, we'll await for him to tell us exactly what he will sign."

Steinberg claimed that an agreement was in the works this past weekend (a "common framework," said Steinberg), only to fall apart last night in talks with Schwarzenegger.

That's not how the big guy remembers things.

"We're not sure what they're referring to," said gubernatorial spokesman Aaron McLear. "We've not moved any more close with the Democrats in the negotiations the past several weeks."

As reported many times before... many... many... you get the point... the clash continues to be over whether the Democratic proposal goes far enough on jump starting the state's weak economy and whether it offers enough spending cuts to justify the corresponding tax increases. Dems insist the governor keeps, in their words, "moving the goalposts" or that he getting "cold feet" about the tax increases.

You can imagine the administration's response to that. Enough said.

In which case, we're still where we were. Franco is still dead. Now back to our regular programming.

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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