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Governor, Lawmakers Have Tentative Budget Agreement

Party leaders have emerged from a meeting with Governor Schwarzenegger saying they have a tentative agreement on a key issue that has been holding up resolution of the state spending plan.

The proposed settlement comes despite the harsh partisan rancor that has enveloped the Capitol during the last several days. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a Democrat from Los Angeles, said they have a handshake agreement over the rules governing how public schools contract services with private companies. He said the accord could pave the way for a broader agreement on the last remaining hurdles facing budget negotiators.

The state´s budget stalemate is now 20 days old. Governor Schwarzenegger has accused Democrats of holding up the budget to protect special interests. He said they were girlie men for not standing up to union interests.