Maldonado's constituents mixed on hold out

February 18, 2009 7:44:18 PM PST
Budget needs just one more Republican vote to pass and that has all eyes on moderate Republican State Senator Abel Maldonado. His District 15 includes portions of Santa Clara, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Louis Obispo counties.

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For days Maldonado has been viewed as the GOP vote that could get the state budget passed. The pressure is coming from many fronts, including Maldonado's own district.

The chancellor for West Valley Community College wants the stalemate to end and the proposed budget deal to pass.

"We need solutions and we need agreement, we need this budget done ASAP," John Hendrickson said.

Maldonado won reelection in November with 63 percent of the vote. In Saratoga, he has the support of city leaders representing both parties.

"He's willing to buck a party line when it's the best thing for the most amount of people and I respect him for that. I respect him for being his own man," mayor and registered Republican Chuck Page.

"It's tough for him; I totally sympathize with him but I hope we can get this settled soon," Kathleen King said. A budget with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts is the only solution, King said.

Maldonado seems to be holding out for government reform. Wednesday, he again pushed for an open or non partisan primary. It is a change that could benefit him in future statewide elections.

Click here for the latest details on California's budget crisis.

"I'm asking the pro tem to put a non partisan election and if he does that we're going to be close to having a budget here for the people of California," Maldonado said.

But far from Sacramento, the budget gridlock has pushed some of Maldonado's constituents to want an even bigger overhaul.

"As taxpayers and voters, I think we ought to be thinking about getting rid of everybody up there and putting new people in; I mean everybody," Saratoga resident Paul Twombly said.

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