Bipartisan Deal In Sacramento Elusive

Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) isn't happy about Gov. Jerry Brown's last-minute deal to pass a $1 billion bundle of tax breaks for California businesses and citizens.

He says the deal, passed in the Assembly on Thursday in a rare show of bipartisanship, " was developed behind closed doors without any input from Senate Republicans."

Instead, he wants the governor to pull an Arnold Schwarzenegger-style move, and call lawmakers back into special session this fall to examine the tax breaks.

Gov. Brown knows that the deal, hatched in recent days with the help of Assembly Republicans Nathan Fletcher and Cameron Smyth, could unravel if allowed to linger.   And so the political intrigue is in full cry on this last day of session, a classic cliffhanger.

Brown is on the hunt for for at least two Republican votes he needs in the Senate.  Likely candidates are those he's negotiated with in the past: Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands), Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres).

The governor says the plan is revenue-neutral, allowing him to argue that Republicans are not breaking a no-taxes pledge if they support it.  

It closes a loophole that allows out-of-state corporations to pay less, and uses the extra revenue to pay for tax breaks for manufacturers, in-state companies, and individual taxpayers.  

In fact, the standard deduction for joint filers would go up by $2 thousand under the governor's plan.

Fletcher, who's running for mayor of San Diego, says the deal is "the right thing" to help companies who keep jobs in California.

In these waning hours of the session, the drama deepens. 

If the governor can strike a deal for the votes in the Senate, he can claim a significant victory.  And it can be argued that bipartisanship isn't extinct after all.

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