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Governor Brown: Budget Talks Dead

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Governor says he stopped discussions with Republicans this week.  In a statement, Brown says GOP lawmakers won't put his tax extension measure on the ballot unless he agrees to "an ever changing list of collateral demands."  Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg was also angry about the list:

"The only thing missing from that list was a pony and we would've given them a pony if they gave the people the opportunity to cast a vote."

Steinberg says time has run out to try to put something to voters in June - so Democrats will now re-group:

"We will use the power of our majority to begin aggressively pursuing a different path."

It's unclear exactly what that would mean, but it could include a November ballot measure.  Jann Taber (TAY-ber) with Senate GOP Leader Bob Dutton's office says Republicans want to be part of the solution:

"The path to putting the taxes on the ballot was a spending cap and pension reform, and having those go on the ballot not tied to the taxes and there would be a deal right now so it's not the Republicans that are preventing this from happening.  It's the Democrats."

Taber says the Governor's budget contains nothing that will put people back to work or fix the state's long-term budget problems.

State lawmakers approved about 14 billion dollars in budget solutions earlier this month. Governor Brown has already signed most of those into law. But that's only halfway toward solving the state's nearly 27 billion dollar problem.
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