Is there a budget deal?

Senate President Pro tem Don Perata says he has reached an accommodation with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the budget, although as of this writing there is no confirmation from the Governor’s office.

The key trade-off is reported to be a temporary sales tax increase for a rainy-day fund, spending cap and some spending cuts.

If there is a deal, Perata will bring the measure to a vote in the Senate, and the buzz around the Capitol is that he may have the votes in the Senate to pass the compromise, including the two Republican votes he needs.

If so, the budget end game will fall on the Assembly. Pressure will build to get the deal done. The Key — the spending cap. What exactly is it, and how tightly can the cap be screwed on?