If you thought 2008 was an interesting year in California politics consider what 2009 may offer.

Something is bound to break in the battle over the budget. And one action will undoubtedly lead to a reaction raising the stakes. In fact, it will be like those long paragraphs in the bible when the term “begat” is used over and over.

Will the governor and the Democratic majority agree to a budget solution that will use creative definitions on taxes and fees to raise revenue with a simple majority vote? The guess here is they will.

Signing the revenue legislation will begat both a referendum on the fee increase portion of the package, as well as a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the revenue bill.

If courts find the revenue raising mechanism legal, that will probably begat an initiative requiring future fee increases to pass with a two-thirds vote.

Of course, the budget stalemate has already begat initiatives filed by the California Teachers Association just before Christmas to lower the vote requirements to raise taxes, and to pass the budget, as well as to establish a new tax designated specifically for the schools.

If CTA goes ahead with any of these initiatives they could be on the special election the governor is expected to call for the voters to consider budget solutions. Won’t that be a wild ballot?

Originally, the idea of a special election was to have the voters okay a plan to use the lottery to help balance the budget. But that could be accompanied by tax increase proposals from the legislature, the CTA measures, and perhaps a spending limit and/or referendum on fees.

If all this comes to pass, the direction of California’s fiscal future will be firmly be in the hands of the voters.

What will the voters do? I’m getting ahead of myself. Ah, but to be an initiative campaign consultant in the springtime!

Then, there is the drama of the California Supreme Court taking on the Proposition 8 case. Rancor has already heated up over this measure and will only intensify as the ruling and its aftermath get closer.

Depending on how the justices rule, will a recall effort be mounted against some justices? And how will a decision by the courts on the tax vote requirements play into any recall effort?

And, while all this and more is going on candidates for governor and other offices in 2010 will be jockeying for position.

2009 is going to come in like a lion and will only get more intense as the year goes on.