Brown Warns of Deeper Budget Cuts if Tax Plan Not Accepted
On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said that if lawmakers and voters do not approve his proposed tax extensions, he would only approve a budget that cuts more than $25 billion from state services, the Los Angeles Times reports (York/Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times, 2/25).
Brown has proposed $12.5 billion in spending cuts and $12 billion in temporary tax extensions to help close a $26.6 billion budget shortfall over 18 months.
His plan calls for more than $6 billion in cuts to health care and welfare-to-work services for low-income residents (California Healthline, 2/22).
Brown's Appearance in Legislature
The governor addressed lawmakers in a joint Assembly and Senate budget committee hearing. It was the first time in nearly 50 years that a sitting governor testified before the Legislature (Los Angeles Times, 2/25).
Brown said, "If we don't get the tax extensions, I am not going to sign a budget that is not an all-cuts budget." He told lawmakers to "make some tough choices" (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 2/25).
Brown argued that lawmakers have an obligation to let voters decide whether to approve tax extensions, adding, "Time is running out for California and this country if politicians just keep squabbling all the time" (Buchanan/Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/25).
According to the Times, Brown has said that he neither wants to borrow funds to bridge the budget gap nor tap "bookkeeping gimmicks" that have been used to balance the budget in recent years (Los Angeles Times, 2/25).
Though Brown set a March 10 deadline to produce a budget, Republicans have publicly promised to defeat his proposal (Harmon, Contra Costa Times, 2/25). Many Republican lawmakers have said they want to see state regulations eased and public pensions reformed before considering Brown's proposal (Los Angeles Times, 2/25).
For additional coverage of Brown's appearance before lawmakers, see today's Capitol Desk post.
On Thursday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reported on Brown's appearance before the joint state budget committee and on lawmakers' response (Small, "KPCC News," KPCC, 2/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.