Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Lorraine Berry sought Monday night to round up two key administration officials who informed her they would not attend some of the committee's budget meetings starting this week.
On Monday afternoon, the assistant to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull for fiscal policy and economic affairs, Rudolph Krigger, sent Berry a letter stating that "due to personal reasons" he could not attend the budget overview slated for Wednesday. Later in the afternoon, Office of Management and Budget Director Ira Mills sent a letter declining to take part in public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2001 budget submitted by Turnbull, citing "immediate and pressing matters I have to assist in resolving."
Berry was not happy. "We will subpoena them only if the committee decides to—a vote would be required," she said. "We're already late with this process, due to them mostly, and at the 11th hour we're not going to get cooperation? It's unacceptable to me."
Reached late Monday evening still at the Senate chambers, Berry said she had been trying unsuccessfully to get in touch with Turnbull, Krigger and Mills to ask them to reconsider.
"The governor needs to direct them to cooperate with the Legislature. We cannot go into the budget process by confrontation," she said.
Administration officials were unavailable for further comment.

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