If it’s June, it must be time for another budget crisis in California, and that’s what appears to be taking shape right now as elected officials have before them a budget plan that, in theory, must be approved in a week. This report in the Contra Cost Times has the details:
Legislative Democrats sent revised budget plans to both houses Wednesday night that would restore nearly $1 billion in spending and that seek a yearlong extension on taxes that could jeopardize any opportunity for an on-time deal.
Lawmakers are racing against a June 15 constitutional deadline to approve a balanced budget. If they fail to meet it, they will not be paid after that date until they reach an accord on how to close a $9.6 billion revenue gap.
Though Democrats have the power to approve a budget with a majority vote, they need four Republicans — two in either house — to approve any revenues. There was little sign the two parties are close to an agreement. Votes on the budget could come as early as Thursday, though nothing has been scheduled as Gov. Jerry Brown continues to meet with Republicans seeking a deal on pension rollbacks, regulatory fixes and a spending cap.
Republicans insisted a so-called bridge tax would undermine any potential deal. Under the Senate plan, a temporary tax would keep in place for one year the same level of sales and auto taxes California residents now pay.
Voters would be given the opportunity to ratify or nullify the extensions as early as September. Republicans complained that voters would have to live with them another nine months even if they rejected them.
Well, at least they don’t have that silly super-majority problem anymore, but, from the sound of it, getting any Republican to vote for the proposed budget will be difficult.
In related news, the Sacramento Bee reports that Governor Jerry Brown has “confiscated” 29,000 cell phones that will save the state millions of dollars – another drop in the bucket…