As Gov. Jerry Brown (D) continues to stump for his plan to cut spending and temporarily extend taxes for five years, he remains optimistic about reaching a budget deal, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
Brown said, "I see everything as an opportunity here. That's the idea; crisis -- opportunity" (Stoltze, "KPCC News," KPCC, 2/28).
The governor 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, 2/25).
Seeking GOP Support
Although Republicans generally oppose tax increases, Brown still is campaigning for their support.
He said, "Yes, there are some no, no, no folks in the Republican Party," adding, "But there [are] also some yes, yes, yes Republicans. And, we're waiting to hear from them."
Brown also indicated he might be willing to expand pension reform to secure Republican support.
Simple Majority or Two-Thirds Majority?
Brown needs Republican support to reach the two-thirds majority in the Legislature to put the tax issue before voters in a June ballot.
However, some experts believe that Brown might just need a simple majority to put the proposal on the ballot because he is seeking to extend tax increases, rather than creating new taxes. Democrats have a simple majority in the Legislature.
Brown said that he has looked into the issue but has "not come to a conclusion as [of] yet." He added that regardless, he would prefer to have Republican support ("KPCC News," KPCC, 2/28).