Reporting from Sacramento — Gov.-elect Jerry Brown has scheduled a budget briefing in Sacramento on Wednesday, and every member of the Legislature is invited.
All current lawmakers are welcome at the meeting, along with other elected state and local officials, said Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford. Brown, Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor and Ana Matosantos, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's finance director, will speak at the event.
"We want to make sure everyone is operating from the same set of facts," Clifford said. "This is not a solve-the-budget meeting. This is a define-the-scope-of-the-problem meeting."
"We want a discussion at least in part of how we got here," he said. "What kind of smoke and mirrors have been employed in the past? What are the temporary solutions that we've used before and why they won't work this time?"
He said Brown would like to hold similar meetings in other parts of the state but no plans have been finalized.
This approach has been tried before. In December 2008, Taylor, Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Controller John Chiang addressed a special joint session of the Legislature to explain that year's budget problem. Weeks later, Democrats passed a partisan budget without a single Republican vote, and Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
Two months later, lawmakers passed a budget that included temporary sales and income tax increases, which are set to expire in January.
Brown has said addressing the state's budget problem will be his top priority as governor. He must unveil his first spending plan by Jan. 10, seven days after he takes office.
Numbers released by Taylor last month indicate the state is facing a $25.4-billion deficit through June 2012. He said the spending plan lawmakers passed in October is already more than $6 billion out of whack.
Schwarzenegger is expected to declare a fiscal emergency Monday, when he will call the new Legislature into special session after lawmakers are sworn in.