Perata Budget Plan Up for Vote

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According to the Chronicle, state Senator Don Perata will submit a plan to deal with the massive state budget deficit to the Senate today. It's more or less what he and Governor Schwarzenegger have been thinking up in the last few weeks: a temporary (and regressive) sales tax hike for three years; and a rainy-day fund to deal with future budget shortfalls. The most remarkable element in Perata's plan is his surprising willingness to give Schwarzenegger the authority to unilaterally make budget cuts in the middle of the fiscal year; most Democrats hated the idea, and Perata has clearly compromised more than his allies would have thought. But as usual, the tax hike is the big stumbling block. Perata needs two Republican senators to break ranks and join him, but the party has been adamant in its opposition to the tax. The vote will happen sometime today, so we'll know where we stand by the time Labor Day weekend gets rolling.

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