HEADLINES : California
With deadline looming, California budget talks continue
California state senators held a three-hour hearing covering more than 50 topics on Thursday, but some of the biggest questions surrounding the state budget remain unanswered just over a week before the deadline for lawmakers to approve a spending plan.
Capitol sources say the key players -- Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Pérez -- have been meeting to hash out the details. Republicans have not been involved in the conversations.
There were hopes that a rough deal would have been reached by now, and Democratic lawmakers have indicated they'll accept much of what the governor proposed. But Steinberg and Pérez have been unable to reach an agreement with Brown on roughly $2 billion in proposed cuts to welfare, child care and home care for the elderly and disabled, the sources said.