Senate Passes Bill on Local Tax Power as Budget Deadline Nears
Although Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) proposed tax extension measure failed to clear the state Senate on Friday, Democrats succeeded in passing a bill (SBX1 23) allowing county supervisors and school officials to put certain tax proposals before local voters, the Sacramento Bee reports.
California faces a constitutional deadline to pass a state spending plan by June 15 (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 6/11). If the budget is not passed by the deadline, lawmakers could lose their pay.
Last month, Brown released a revised spending plan that aims to close the state's $9.6 billion budget gap. The governor's plan would:
- Extend a fee on hospitals to bring in $320 million for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program; and
- Shift beneficiaries of Healthy Families -- California's Children's Health Insurance Program -- to Medi-Cal.
Brown also has asked lawmakers to temporarily extend current sales and vehicle taxes until voters can weigh in on the issue in a fall special election (California Healthline, 6/10).
Details on Tax Measures
However, the governor's tax extension plan fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the Senate. Republicans contended that the taxes would hurt the state's economic recovery.
After the tax extension measure failed, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) brought SBX1 23 to the floor (Sacramento Bee, 6/11).
The bill would provide counties, school districts and community college districts with greater authority over tax measures. Under the legislation, local entities could let voters decide whether to impose or increase taxes on personal income, sales and certain products such as alcohol and cigarettes (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/11).
Both the Senate and the Assembly are scheduled to hold sessions on the budget today (Weintraub, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 6/11).
On Sunday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the governor's YouTube video about the state budget (Adler, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 6/12).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.