California lawmakers had been scheduled to return after the Thanksgiving break to vote on sweeping health care reform and water proposals, after weeks of promises that compromises were near on both issues.
Instead, there are no deals and few signs that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders can salvage anything from the special legislative sessions called in September.
The parties said then that swift action was needed to address California's critical water needs and the plight of nearly 5 million Californians who lack health insurance.
But the Senate president is canceling a vote on the water bond he had hoped to put before voters in February.
And the Assembly speaker is postponing a vote on his health care plan.
A spokesman for Schwarzenegger says serious negotiations are still needed on both issues.