Setting the stage for a Senate session..

After a Senate session that lasted all night. featured a leadership change in the Republican caucus, and a day of press conferences, national media appearances, and floor debate, the Senate *and* Assembly are scheduled to come back at 10pm tonight.

The rumors continue to fly about whether the 27th vote will come from Senator Cox or Senator Maldonado, and what they may ask for in return. For health advocates, we have to be concerned about what else the 27th vote may ask for.

In this hostage situation, the ransom for a budget has already been high: $15 billion in cuts, a spending cap that would force cuts into the future, corporate tax giveaways to further take resources from health and education, undoing voter-approved funds for children’s services and mental health services, and changes to labor and environmental rules. A budget deal that includes all these elements is no victory. It’s defeat.

The consequences for health and human services of no budget deal are significant, but so are the consequences of a deal. The difference is that the the budget deal is a negotiated terms of surrender, rather than allowing the carnage of continued war.

So we’ll see what happens tonight.

On my personal Twitter account, I have been posting quick, short updates about the budget, at:

Thanks to references on Calitics, personal Facebook friends and Twitter followers, what started out as a few snide comments when staying up in the Capitol on Saturday night has turned into ongoing coverage with an emphasis on health issues (with my regular, personal asides on my two-year old son, television, the Tour de California, and turtles).

Twitter will be down at 10pm for a short bit when we go into session, so I’ll post any quick updates here on this blog, as we have done for over nearly seven years. After the budget issue settles, we at Health Access will figure out if we should add Twitter to our communications arsenal, in our effort to help you best advocate for health care in California. If you have thoughts, share them with me, at

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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