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Cogdill Says Republicans Are Being Left Out Of Budget Negotiations

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Sacramento, Ca — There is still friction among Republicans, Democrats and the Governor when it comes to finding a solution to California´s budget crisis.

Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill feels that he and Republican Assembly Leader Mike Villines are purposely being excluded from the negotiations because they are ?inflexible? when it comes to increasing taxes to pay down the budget.

?Nobody´s talking to the Republican leaders in either the Assembly or the Senate,? says Cogdill. ?If there are negotiations going on, I am assuming it is between the Governor´s Office and Senator (Don) Perata and possibly Speaker (Karen) Bass.

Cogdill says there have not been any meetings among the ?Big Four? in neary three weeks, and the ?Big Five? has met only twice in the past month.

Senate Majority Leader Perata, who represents the East Bay, has released the following statement addressing the recent budget negotiations.

?They (Republicans) are very narrow about what they want to discuss and even more narrow on the things they´re willing to agree to,? states Perata. ?So, we are now at loggerheads. This is an impasse. There are no four-way discussions going on any longer because there are no solutions here.?

Cogdill says he is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work on finding a solution to the budget situation, but is concerned that he and Villines will not be invited to the table in the immediate future.

?My guess is that they (Democrats) are going to try to pick off individual Republican members to see if they can get the votes they need to put a budget out,? adds Cogdill. ?At this point, I feel confident that my caucus is still very strong and adamantly against tax increases.?

Cogdill´s 14th District covers Tuolumne County.

Written by BJ Hansen