Published June 16, 2011
California state lawmakers passed a budget plan before deadline for the first time in 25 years Wednesday – but it didn’t happen without a fight.
Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena) and Assemblyman Don Wagner (R-Irvine) had a small scuffle on the Assembly floor after Wagner compared the proposed budget to the HBO show “The Sopranos,” Fox 40 reported.
“Let’s not buy the insurance policy that Tony Soprano is selling us,” Wagner said.
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) took issue with Wagner’s comments, saying they were offensive to Italian-Americans.
“As a proud Italian-American, I resent that and would respectfully ask the commenter to make an apology to Italian-Americans in California,” he said.
But Wagner hit back.
“I will apologize to any Italian-Americans that are not in the Mafia and engaged in insurance scams,” he countered.
Wagner added that his reference was not lost on anyone, but that he didn’t mean it as an attack, only that the bill was “a bait-and-switch,” Fox 40 reported.
The speaker tried to continue with the budget debate, but Furutani confronted Wagner, and other lawmakers had to step in before things escalated.