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Budget Debate to Begin Friday

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Democrats and a handful of Republicans are close on the basics: a special election for Governor Jerry Brown's proposed tax extensions in exchange for Republican priorities like a spending cap and pension changes.  But the two sides disagree on Democrats' desire to extend the taxes for up to a year while voters decide whether to keep them.  Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg:

Steinberg: "A one-year bridge is vital for public schools and for public safety to be able to make their budgets."

Republicans say the tax increases should expire on schedule at the end of this month.  Jann Taber with Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton's office points to Governor Brown's campaign pledge.

Taber: "Democrats want to pass a one-year tax hike without a vote of the people.  What happened to 'Let the people vote?'"

The Senate will debate the budget through the weekend.  The Assembly will start its debate next week.

The legislature's constitutional deadline to pass a spending plan is June 15th.  Lawmakers have nearly always blown past that date in previous years.  But this is the first year under voter-approved Proposition 25, which permanently docks lawmakers' pay each day there's no budget.

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