An Assembly fight over school funding has stalled state budget negotiations and increased chances that California won´t have a spending plan in place by the start of a new fiscal year on July 1st.
The two-house conference committee that is trying to negotiate a budget compromise abandoned plans to work through the weekend after the Assembly rejected a school funding bill sought by Governor Davis.
The bill got only 48 votes. It needed at least 54, a two-thirds majority. Democrats served notice they would bring up the measure again.
The conference committee had planned to wrap up its work by Sunday night, but the panel´s chairman says there´s no reason to meet until the school dispute is resolved and negotiators know how much of a budget deficit they have to erase.
The school bill would help the state meet school funding requirements by shifting $1.7-billion from this year´s books to the new budget.