Political observers are not optimistic about what will come next. Schwarzenegger told lawmakers yesterday to stay in Sacramento through next week's holiday, if need be. The state treasurer has said that without a budget deal, the state could run out of cash by February.
"The governor keeps saying it's Armageddon, and I think that's probably right," says Barbara O'Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at California State UniversitySacramento. "The tempers and the rhetoric are certainly at a boiling point. I don't know who blinks first."
According to a recent analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the slowing economy has been drying up state tax revenues across the country, and state governments are currently facing a collective budget gap of at least $100 billion over the next year and a half. Remarkably, California is responsible for nearly half of that shortfall.