Brown vetoes budget passed by Democrats
June 16, 2011
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday vetoed a Democratic budget plan approved by the Legislature, warning that if he fails to get the tax extensions he’s seeking it will mean deeper cuts to vital public services.
The Democratic governor said he had a number of concerns about the budget package passed Wednesday by majority Democrats to close California’s remaining $9.6 billion deficit.
In his veto message, Brown warned of dire consequences if Republicans continue to stand in the way of a special election on the tax extensions.
“If they continue to obstruct a vote, we will be forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts to schools and public safety- a tragedy for which Republicans will bear full responsibility,” the governor said.
The plan includes several provisions that would likely face a legal challenge, including imposing a $12 fee on vehicle registrations, a firefighting surcharge on rural residents, and an extension of a hike in the sales tax.
Brown said the plan sent to his desk reflects some positive work but does not go far enough.
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“I am vetoing today because I don’t want to see more billions in borrowing, legal maneuvers that are questionable and a budget that will not stand the test of time,” Brown said in an online video message after announcing the veto on his Twitter account.
The plan was widely seen as a placeholder until Brown could compromise with Republican lawmakers over whether to extend a series of tax increases set to expire June 30.
The date has become the new unofficial deadline for approving a budget plan.
Brown wants the Legislature to extend expiring sales and vehicle tax hikes for several months and authorize a special election this fall in which voters would be asked to extend those increases and an already expired increase in the personal income tax rate for up to five years.
The Democrats have majorities in both the Assembly and the Senate but need at least two GOP votes in each house to pass tax increases or place measures on a ballot.