It's Gov. Jerry Brown's original deadline day, and state leaders have failed to reach a budget deal. A splinter group of five Senate Republicans is negotiating with the Democratic governor. It remains to be seen whether they can strike a compromise.
Brown and GOP lawmakers continue to negotiate big-picture changes to state government, including budgeting, worker pensions and environmental regulations. The governor says he needs a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, including at least two Republicans in each house, to place tax extensions on the ballot, a key part of his solution to the state's $26.6 billion deficit.
Missing today's deadline makes it unlikely the state will hold a special election on the tax extensions June 7. Each week that passes means pushing the balloting later into June.
The California Republican Party will hold its spring convention in Sacramento March 18-20. The governor has suggested that GOP lawmakers are wary of casting a vote on the tax extensions ahead of the gathering.
Absent the tax vote, current tax rates on sales and vehicles will fall on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
Democrats could abandon a special election altogether and seek a legislative compromise. But they would have to find a way to replace $11.2 billion in tax solutions, and Brown has vowed to fill that gap with program cuts rather than gimmicks.
How did we get here? Highlights of the countdown
Day 1 (Jan. 10): Brown unveils his plan of cuts and tax extensions to resolve the deficit, and calls for a solution in 60 days so voters can resolve the tax issue on June 7. "I think there is a significant number of people who have an open mind," he said.
Day 2 (Jan. 11): Brown orders the number of state cell phones cut by half. Subsequent orders would target vehicles, state hiring and free knickknacks.
Day 22 (Jan. 31): Brown calls out Republicans during his State of the State speech, terming their refusal to put tax extensions on the ballot as "unconscionable."
Day 31 (Feb. 9): Brown kills a plan to sell state buildings, increasing the deficit by $1.2 billion.
Day 36 (Feb. 14): Legislative Analyst's Office outlines doomsday cuts if tax extensions fail big hits to schools, social programs, state workers.
Day 38 (Feb. 16): Senate GOP leader Bob Dutton says there are no Republican votes for putting the tax extensions on the ballot, even if Democrats agree to structural reforms.
Day 53 (March 3): As Democrats send the package of cuts to the Assembly and Senate floors, CalChamber head Allan Zaremberg suggests "there's going to be support" for Republicans who make tough votes on tax extensions.
Day 57 (Monday): "GOP 5" emerges in talks with Brown, but five Republican senators say the Democrats and their allies won't meet their demands on spending, pensions, education changes.