Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jerry Brown's World May Collide With Legislative GOP World on State Budget

As a result of last November's election, only a simple majority is needed to pass a state budget. However, a 2/3 vote is required to raise taxes or fees. Legislative Democrats have a majority but not a 2/3 supermajority. Gov. Brown's plan is apparently to propose a budget constrained by current revenue - which would feature major cuts - and then put a measure on the ballot that would extend temporary tax increases the legislature adopted in Feb. 2009 that will soon expire.

To put a measure on the ballot, however, he needs a 2/3 vote - which means some Republicans would have to go along.

However, as the item below notes, GOP legislators are under intense pressure not to provide such votes:

Grover Norquist group: Putting taxes on ballot violates no-tax pledge (excerpt)

Jan. 5, 2011, Capitol Alert

The national anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform will e-mail and fax letters tomorrow to California legislators who signed its no-tax pledge, warning them the group will consider any vote to put tax extension measures on the ballot a violation of that pledge, said the group's state affairs director Patrick Gleason. Gov. Jerry Brown is planning to make major budget cuts and also ask voters to extend temporary tax increases that are set to lapse this year. All of California's Republican legislators in both houses have signed the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," except Sen. Anthony Cannella, of Ceres, and Sen. Sam Blakeslee, of San Luis Obispo, who has not signed since becoming a senator last year, Gleason said. No Democratic legislators have signed the pledge. The pledge reads: "I (name of official) pledge to the taxpayers of the (blank) district of the state of (blank) and all the people of this state that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes."

Full article at

It's not clear what Plan B is when the Brown world and the GOP/legislative world collide. UC could easily be collateral damage.

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