With California on the verge of another dubious record in the Great Budget Debacle of 2008, it would seem prudent for state officials to be preparing for a worst-case scenario.
Trouble is, no one seems to know what that might be.
"I don't think that we can predict the impact of not having a budget in place in the near future," said Hallye Jordan, spokeswoman for state Controller John Chiang. "We know what the pain has been."
Saturday will mark the latest into a fiscal year (which started July 1) that the state has ever gone without a budget. On Monday, lawmakers surpassed their Aug. 31 record for the latest the Legislature had ever approved a budget.
And there is no discernible end in sight. There has been talk in the Capitol about a "half-a-loaf" compromise. The idea is to pass a bill that would allow the controller to make payments to programs he cannot now pay without a budget.
Those include community colleges, some elementary and high school programs, programs that provide medical services to the needy, social service providers and recipients, and private companies that peddle goods and services to state agencies.
Should legislators and Schwarzenegger fail to reach a deal by the end of this month, Chiang has said those groups will be shorted $7.6 billion in state payments Read the full story at sacbee.com.