Lawmakers Nearly Come To Blows During Budget Debate

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A joke that compared a proposed budget measure to a fictional mafia family nearly brought lawmakers to blows on the California Assembly floor Wednesday afternoon.

Assembly members Don Wagner (R-Irvine) and Warren Furutani (D-Gardena) were pulled away from each other by fellow lawmakers and Assembly sergeants-at-arms after irritation boiled over on the eve of the state budget deadline.

When Wagner addressed the floor a few minutes earlier, he blasted elements of the Democrat budget proposal dealing with redevelopment agencies as “fantasy” and likened the plan to an episode of “The Sopranos.”

Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) expressed offense at the comparison and demanded an apology on behalf of Italian-Americans.

Wagner responded by saying, “I will apologize to any Italian-Americans who are not in the mafia or engaged in insurance scams.”

Several lawmakers traded sharp words following the statement and Wagner stated that his “apology is sincere” but did not back off on his attack on plan, calling the proposal a “bait-and-switch.”

A few minutes later, Wager and Furutani stood face to face and appeared to be on the brink of a physical confrontation when other lawmakers managed to separate the two.

Democrats passed the bulk of their budget bills Wednesday without Republican support, beating a midnight deadline that would have stopped lawmakers’ paychecks for missing the deadline.

Democrats are still seeking Republican support for passing a series of tax extensions to ease severe budget cuts.

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  • bob

    How many were pakin, or did they decide that carring a gun was’nt a good idea.

  • Do-fuss

    Children, children.
    If you can’t get along then no more junkets to Hawaii.

  • Tax Payer

    How about we remove the whole lot of them. The only reason they managed to pass the budget this close to the due date and not months later like usuall is because THEIR pay was at stake. They couldn’t give a rats @$$ about the people of California, whether it be private sector or the lower working class State workers. These politicians only care about themselves, their pocketbooks(with how much they can stuff them with tax dollars) and getting re-elected at all costs so they can continue to live their lives of luxury at the tax payers expence.

  • NNN

    Of course they are going to sign what ever is in front of them, their money is being effected. We are going to cut and take away from schools. Then sit and wonder why the jobless rate is up and there is so much crime in Sacramento.

  • stan

    Well, we were right. We the people voted in the “no budget no pay” just to see if you legislators had the pills to see if you could do the right things for the State. And when the deadline was on the doorstep and all the chips were on the table, you throw up a piece of do-do legislation you want to call a budget. Just so you won’t miss a paycheck. Now we know where your priorities are. At least there was one democrat in the capital who saw it for what it was. And he vetoed it. As far as concerned , there still is no budget, you still don’t deserve a paycheck.

  • Marco

    Maybe they don’t deserve a paycheck.

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