No Election June 7, Says Jerry Brown at Budget Bills Signing
Governor Jerry Brown said March 24 that it is too late to call an election for June 7 to vote on his proposed five-year extension of more than $12 billion in taxes set to expire this year.
Brown made the remark at a Capitol ceremony in which he rapidly signed 13 budget-related bills aimed at reducing what the Democratic governor says is a $26.6 billion gap between revenue and state spending commitments.
“We’ve gone a considerable part of the way but, of course, we’re only halfway to the goal line,” Brown said.
“These are painful cuts. They hit vulnerable people But when you have a deficit you have to do something.”
The bills signed by Brown’s save $11.2 billion, according to his office.
Brown’s proposed tax increases — if approved by voters – would fill most of the remaining budget hole.
If voters reject the extensions, Brown said he will fill the remaining hole with “very drastic cutbacks,” perhaps close to half of which will fall on higher education and public schools.
Republican lawmakers – two of whose votes are needed in the Assembly and the Senate to place Brown’s proposal on the ballot — have so far balked at doing so.
Long enough, Brown told reporters, to make June 7 unworkable, the first Tuesday of the month and the usual date for a primary.
Brown offered no alternative date but said, “I’m shooting for as soon as possible.”
Elections Code 9040 says that a measure to be put before voters needs to be enacted at least 131 days before the election.
There are 75 days until June 7.
The earliest lead-time for an election is 88 days. Lawmakers exempted the setting of a May 2009 special election from the 131-day rule in the measures they approved for the ballot.
Included in the measures Brown signed are $1 billion in reductions split between the University of California and the California State University.
Grants to welfare recipients fall by 8 percent and eligibility shrinks from five years to four.
Higher co-payments and lower reimbursement for doctors and hospitals contribute to savings of more than $1.6 billion in costs for Med-Cal, the state’s health care program for the poor.
To blunt the depth of the Medi-Cal cuts, Brown signed a one-time taking of $1 billion raised under Proposion 10, a 50-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes, and diverted it from various programs for children under 5-years-old to Medi-Cal services for the same aged children.
The measures Brown signed set the level of expenditures for the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Brown did not sign the actual budget bill, which authorizes the state to spend, noting it would be more appropriate to do once a final solution – more cuts or more revenue – is reached.
Filed under: Budget and Economy
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