Despite widespread rumors that the governor was going to release a majority-vote budget alternative, his spokesman now says that such an alternative will not be released today.
The governor appears to be holding out on releasing his Plan B all-cuts budget to see if the $400/day average hit to each legislator forces a deal.
However, Republicans that had been negotiating with the governor for a tax election seem to be weaker in their interest than they were two weeks ago amidst a dramatically changing political environment (redistricting and top-two primary). The governor also probably doesn’t want to release an all-cuts budget that will only be criticized by the left, the right and the media as draconian.
As I wrote yesterday, there’s a legitimate $5 billion problem if you accept most of the Democrats actions with the "gimmicks" (i.e. state building sales, "single flip") stripped out.
That’s a lot of cuts for legislators to stomach and the governor can’t expect Republicans to jump to support an all-cuts budget.
And, with a majority of legislators hoping to win higher office as early as next year, they might just be willing to eat mac and cheese for a few weeks of forfeited pay rather than vote for all cuts (Democrats) or tax revenues (Republicans). Reporters are now reviewing legislators Form 700 Statements of Economic Interests (look up your member’s) to figure out who can hold out and who can’t.
Stay tuned to the League’s Twitter feed for the latest.