Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg was upbeat after a 90- minute meeting with Schwarzenegger and the three legislative leaders:
"I think that the progress over the last number of days has been significantly greater than the progress all summer."
More meetings are planned this week. Governor Schwarzenegger was also optimistic:
"The mood of the negotiations has been pretty good. We've broken through some areas that were hard to get through.
GOP leaders were more guarded about the status of talks, saying they were "hopeful." The group has agreed on solutions for all but about four billion of the 19 billion dollar problem. Major sticking points include the severity of the cuts and the possibility of tax increases. Another possible sign of progress: Democrats opted not to criticize Governor Schwarzenegger for taking off on a six-day trade mission to Asia this week - something that would ordinarily be an easy target.