SACRAMENTO — California's budget mess got even messier Wednesday, with the failure of legislators to reach a compromise on spending cuts, the state controller warning he will issue IOUs next week instead of checks, and no clear idea of what to do next.
"How can the people of California have a clue what we're doing if we don't?" asked Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, as the Assembly debated a proposal to make $11 billion in program cuts to help plug a $24.3 billion budget hole.
Nielsen's comment was in reference to the fact that GOP legislators didn't receive copies of the inches-thick bill until an hour before debate began.
But it also reflected the general tone of a day in which:
In a news release issued even before legislators began debating, Chiang said the state was facing "a massively unbalanced spending plan and a cash shortfall not seen since the Great Depression."
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