In a move that set the Capitol ablaze with chatter and -- depending on your company -- either praise or scorn, Governor Jerry Brown today vetoed the budget sent to him less than 24 hours ago by his fellow Democrats.
"California is facing a fiscal crisis, and very strong medicine must be taken," said Brown from behind his desk in a video posted on YouTube.
So now what?
It took less than six hours for both houses of the Legislature to ratify all of the components of a new state budget and send them to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.
As Capitol denizens know, that's virtual light speed.
But that's the kind of unusual day that it was, from the ultimate in pro forma debates to the closest thing to fisticuffs anyone's seen in a long time, to the question mark surrounding the $116.5 billion budget's fate either with the chief executive or the courts.
"There's a fuzzy zone here that's not yet been transcended," said Brown.
And yet, a case could be made that the governor might have inadvertently added some fuzz to things in his press Q&A when it comes to his own bottom line.
That's one way to describe the process of redistricting, which is all the buzz this weekend in California political circles.
On this week's Capital Notes Podcast, we take a look at the draft maps released on Friday morning by the state's new citizens commission. Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I try to assess some of the winners and losers, and what impact the independently drawn maps have on the 2012 elections and the state budget process.
California's much anticipated transition to new and independently drawn political boundaries has cleared a big hurdle, with the citizens commission created by voters in 2008 releasing draft legislative and congressional maps.
And now, some irony. Perhaps the single biggest desire of the voters was to change the political culture of the state... and yet, political ramifications were the one thing the 14 citizen commissioners expressly did not consider.
That's because, try as they might, the 14 men and women picked to oversee the redistricting process can't please everyone.
The television ad features a portly man at a restaurant table, being brought plate after plate of heaping portions, as the announcer mockingly says, "Tell him it's time the people took control of gluttonous government spending."
The commercial aired in the fall of 1979 as part of the ultimately successful campaign for Proposition 4, a constitutional amendment to limit government spending.
If there's one thing that Californians really want when it comes to ending the state’s seemingly endless cycle of fiscal chaos, it's a strict cap on government spending.
Except when they don't.
As the calendar ticks toward the first of the formal state budget deadlines, expect a lot more attempts by everyone to frame the issues... and solutions... in ways to their liking.
This week's Capital Notes Podcast examines some of those efforts, and how a few recent events may help Governor Jerry Brown's quest to frame the debate.
Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I take a look at some of the week's events in a technically challenged podcast -- edited for brevity by the radio guy due to (as you'll hear) a faulty microphone.
A brand new statewide poll offers virtually no change from previous surveys this year... and for Brown, that may not be a good thing. Voters agree with his idea for an election to help close the state budget gap but they still seem poised to reject the plan that he's been pushing since taking office almost five months ago.