Brown Still Seeking GOP Support for Taxes, Mulling Deeper Cuts
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) recently told hospital and law enforcement officials that he still hopes to convince GOP lawmakers to allow Californians to vote on his tax measure, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7).
Last month, Brown signed legislation to reduce state spending by $11.2 billion. The measures included deep cuts to several health programs and funding shifts that diverted money away from mental health and childhood development programs.
He initially planned to close the remaining $15.4 billion budget gap by putting a tax extension measure before voters in a June special election. However, GOP lawmakers refused to provide the necessary votes to put the tax measure on a June ballot (California Healthline, 4/1).
Although a June ballot initiative now is out of reach, Brown has acknowledged the possibility of holding a September special election on the tax issue. However, a fall special election likely would require the passage of a short-term budget measure to bridge the gap between the start of the fiscal year on July 1 and the special election (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7).
Brown has said that failure to close the state's remaining deficit with tax revenue could result in devastating cuts to core services (Luciano-Adams, Pasadena Star-News, 4/6).
Details of Deeper Cuts
The governor already is compiling a new draft budget plan that includes the deeper spending cuts. Brown plans to release the revised spending plan on May 14 (Howard, Capitol Weekly, 4/5).
Earlier this year, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's Office released a report outlining how the state could close its remaining deficit if the tax extension plan falls through. According to the report, closing the shortfall could require cutting an additional:
- $5 billion from K-12 schools;
- $1.2 billion from health and human services; and
- $1.1 billion from universities (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/6).