California politicians again battling over budget deficit

State lawmakers will have failed if they can't agree on how to bridge an $11.2 billion budget gap by the end of November, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday.

After issuing a plan last week with spending cuts and higher taxes that Democrats and Republicans rebuked for different reasons, the governor told The Sacramento Bee's editorial board he believes October's stock market crash and credit crisis and the state's desperate need for cash will force lawmakers to reach agreement.

But he did not offer a clear strategy for obtaining the required two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature, instead emphasizing his hope that the severity of the situation will force lawmakers to respond.

Schwarzenegger also met privately with legislative leaders Monday, and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass said afterward that her house plans to hold a hearing Friday to review the governor's proposal. Bass did not characterize Monday's discussion, however, and three other leaders left the meeting without addressing reporters. They plan to meet again Tuesday.

Read the full story at