California state Capitol heats up in week before budget deadline

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A view of the California State Capitol in Sacramento. A week of intense California budget discussions is under way there as the legislative deadline to pass a budget by Friday at midnight approaches.

A week of intense California budget discussions is under way at the state Capitol. The legislative deadline to pass a budget is Friday at midnight.

Democratic legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown are still about $2 billion apart on how to close the state's $16 billion deficit. They met again on Monday, and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg described those talks as “positive.”

But if there’s no deal by the end of the week, Steinberg says Democratic lawmakers are prepared to pass their own spending plan.

“We would much rather have an agreement with the governor," said Steinberg. "But we also know our line.”

The governor has insisted that he’ll only sign a budget that’s balanced and doesn’t include what he calls “gimmicks.” He’s also said that hard cuts are necessary.

The areas of dispute include cuts to welfare, child care, in-home care and college financial aid.

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