Democratic State Treasurer Bill Lockyer says an all-cuts budget would probably be the worst-case scenario for California. He told us not long ago that if that happens, he recommends a specific strategy:
"The cuts should be intelligently targeted so that those that want less government can show their constituents what that's like."
In other words, target Republican districts because they aren't willing to vote to put Governor Jerry Brown's tax extensions on the ballot. It's an idea about which California's Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says he has an "open mind":
"You know, you get the government that you pay for, plain and simple and I think it's basic fairness. You don't want to pay for government, you get less of it. Now again, I would exempt children and the vulnerable from that sort of direction."
Steinberg says it's an "interesting" idea when it comes to basic convenience services for adults. However, he calls an all-cuts budget abhorrent and says he believes a deal between Republicans and Democrats is still possible by mid-June. Jann Taber is with Republican Senate Leader Bob Dutton's office. She says talking about targeted cuts avoids the real issues:
"If they're threatening cutting services in Republican districts, it's because they're unwilling to stand up to the public employee unions and allow voters to vote on a spending cap and pension reform as part of a budget deal."
There are multiple interpretations of that phrase "pension reform" at the Capitol. Governor Brown will roll out his latest proposal to eliminate the remaining 15 billion dollar shortfall in mid-May.