DENVER -- Senate President Brandon Shaffer stormed out of a dinner with House Speaker Frank McNulty and Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp after McNulty reportedly torpedoed a proposed comprimes on next year's budget, according to multiple sources at the Capitol.
While the media focused on the noisy rallies and a long, emotional hearing over civil unions, Democratic and Republican senators huddled together quietly in Kopp's office, drawing up an agreement for balancing next year's budget on scratch paper napkins.
The reported agreement included reducing the $332 million proposed cut to K-12 education by $100 million, as Shaffer had been pushing to do.
In exchange, Democrats agreed to Kopp's proposal do away with the vendor fee paid to Colorado businesses that collect and remit sales taxes, which would leave the state with roughly $60 million less in revenue next year.
That might be a more palatable option after the state earlier this week discovered it'll have an extra $75 million in revenue next year than it had been budgeting to.
But, sources close to the situation say McNulty, who wasn't involved in drafting the compromise, is not getting on board.
Lawmakers had been hoping to reach an agreement this week so as to be able to introduce the budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12 some time next week.
Now, that agreement, thought to be near at one point Thursday afternoon, may be far off yet.