California Gov. Jerry Brown pressures Republican lawmakers to pass state budget
As the June 15th deadline to pass California’s budget approaches, Gov. Jerry Brown admonished Republican lawmakers for blocking his proposed budget and temporary tax extensions to close the state’s $24.5 billion deficit.
In a YouTube video released late Sunday, Brown outlined his proposed budget, which includes permanent cuts to state services, “realignment” measures that give county and local governments more control, state pension reforms, spending caps, and temporary five-year tax extensions that would require voter approval.
Despite after months of negotiations, Brown does not have the four Republican votes – two in the State Assembly and two in the State Senate – for the two-thirds majority needed to put the temporary tax extensions on November’s ballot.
“I’m really perplexed on why a package of this magnitude and this permanence – which has reforms, which has realignment, and which has temporary tax extensions – cannot be allowed for you the people to decide on,” said Brown.
Although California’s June 15th budget deadline has traditionally been ignored, this year state lawmakers will permanent forfeit their salaries and expense reimbursements starting June 16 if they don’t pass the budget on time.
Republican state Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) responded with this statement: “It is all a matter of choices. The majority party has the ability to pass an on-time, no-tax budget – but they didn’t. We should be discussing the reforms needed to get California’s job market moving and control government spending – but we didn’t. With the state’s increased revenue outlook there is a clear path that would get California out of the hole but the choice made today by the majority party was to increase spending and ask the taxpayers to pony up the difference.”
Gov. Brown’s Video Transcript:
“It’s now about six months since I returned to the State Capitol as your Governor. It’s been a very exciting period – lots of debate among both political parties. But we made some very significant progress but we’re not done yet.
“I presented in January what I believed to be a very fair plan. I want to take a moment and review my plan. It has three elements.
“First of all, bring government closer to the people. That’s called realignment.
“Number two: Deep and permanent cuts to ongoing state programs.
“And number three: A Temporary extension of taxes but only upon a vote of you the people.
“And then there’s a fourth element and that is reforms in regulations, reforms in pensions, and a cap on ongoing state spending.
“So we have a plan, and it’s a very good plan. It’ll put California’s finances on a firm footing for many, many years to come.
“But what we don’t have are the four Republican votes necessary to put it to a vote of the people of California. Under our constitution, it takes a two-thirds vote before the people can vote on a ballot measure of this kind. Those votes have to come from all the Democrats and at least two Republicans in the State Senate and two Republicans in the State Assembly.
“I’m really perplexed on why a package of this magnitude and this permanence – which has reforms, which has realignment, and which has temporary tax extensions – cannot be allowed for you the people to decide on.
“I’m not asking the legislature to make all these decisions; I’m asking for a vote of the people. In order to get that, we need the four Republican votes.
“This Wednesday, the budget will be voted on – one way or the other. And I assure you, I will keep fighting over my four-year period as governor of California to put our finances in order, to make the necessary reforms, and to go back to you the people on the fundamental decisions that we have to make as Californians.”
- Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2011-2012 state budget (revised May)
- California’s Constitution Article 4, Section 12(h) on the June 15th budget deadline
- Gov. Jerry Brown’s website
- State Controller John Chiang announces no pay for legislators absent balanced budget by June 15 deadline
- California State Assembly salary information
- State Sen. Tom Harmon’s response to budget drill
- Contact Gov. Jerry Brown
- List of Republican members of the California State Assembly
- List of Republican members of the California State Senate