Budget talks include Republicans

January 8, 2009 6:53:59 PM PST
California's budget deadlock is ending its 64th day and on Thursday night the state's non-partisan legislative analyst says the two-month gridlock has cost California another $12 billion.

"In our November report, we used words like dire, bleak and awful. Since that time, the problem's gotten a lot worse. So we're kind of running out of adjective," said Mac Taylor, a legislative analyst.

Legislative leaders -- including Republicans this time -- met briefly with the governor on Thursday for the first time in weeks.

"We're going to stay at it. It's going to be pretty intense over the next few days and weeks. Everybody understands the worsening of the issue we're dealing with," said State Senator Dave Cogdill (R), the minority leader.

California's budget gap is now expected to grow to about $40 billion by June 2010. The credit crunch may make it impossible for the state to borrow money, or count on funds from President-elect Obama's expected stimulus package.