California state Democrats in their quest to bypass the constitutionally required 2/3 vote to raise taxes in California are reportedly “closer to a deal” with “Republican” Governor Arnold. From the Sacramento Bee;

“Democratic leaders emerged Friday from a nearly three-hour meeting with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger claiming they are “very close” to a deal they believe could resolve almost half of California’s gaping budget deficit.

“The areas of negotiations have significantly narrowed, and on those issues we’re very close,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.”

One sticking point is the governor wants more exemptions for highway projects from state environmental law, and a greater ability to use private contractors on those projects.

The main thing that has them mired is, of course and as usual, unions. He wants to eliminate two state holidays and overtime pay on holidays.

Meanwhile, back in sanity land, state GOP lawmakers still happily contend that the whole idea of a tax increase that goes against the state constitution in, in a word, unconstitutional. Imagine that?

Immediately upon passage of the bill, which would enact $18 billion in spending reductions and tax increases on a simple majority vote, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association vows to sue to stop implementation and put lawmakers back to square one. With the State of California due to run out of money in February, the whole process is a huge waste of time. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much what the California state legislature is next best at. They’re best at wasting money.

Here’s a video recap of some of the arguments GOP lawmakers put up against the measure;

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7BdXytgEk4]

Ok, apparently video stopped working. Click here