When legislative leaders say they're "very close" to a budget deal, it generally means whatever agreement is on the table is about to blow up. Nevertheless, "very close" was the word from Senate Pro Tem Steinberg on Friday, after a 3-hour phone session with Governor Schwarzenegger (who is Idaho on vacation).
You may recall, shortly before Christmas the Democrats passed a budget package, one that included tax increases but without the requisite 2/3 majority for such a proposal. Legislative Republicans are dug in hard against any tax increase, and even while Schwarzenegger has vowed to veto the original Democrat proposal, they continue to see a majority-only "revenue enhancement" as the "only game in town," to use the Pro Tem's own words.
The state is set to run out of money in less than 60 days, so here's hoping the deal they're "very close" to is actually worth writing about.