The June budget ballot is blocked…

Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders acknowledged the breakdown of budget negotiations with Republican lawmakers, and that those GOP legislators had succeeded in preventing Californians from voting in June on a California Budget solution.

Here’s Governor Brown:

What has been a budget crisis and a political crisis now will become a public health crisis, and an education crisis. By not letting voters consider a package of tax extensions to solve the California budget crisis, Republican legislators are forcing $13 billion in additional cuts, to education, public safety, as well as even more to health and human services.

To simply let California vote, Senate Republicans demanded a 53-point wish list–a ransom note with a series of demands to enact an agenda that was largely rejected by California voters last November. This very detailed list was the price to merely get one-third of one-half of the California Legislature to agree to merely let Californians vote on a budget solution.

Here’s Senator President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg:

Governor Brown rightly pointed out that many of the 53 items related to the budget crisis would actually make the deficit worse. The GOP legislators would want to remove elimination of Enterprise Zones and other corporate taxes, creating an even bigger hole that would force health and education cuts. They want restorations in certain programs–the Williamson Act, county fairs–while arguing for even steeper cuts, like hard caps on doctor visits for Medi-Cal patients, and the full elimination of Adult Day Health Centers.

We shudder to think what an additional $12 billion of cuts look like. All we needed to do to prevent such additional cuts is extend current tax rates, rather than letting some revenues expire. We can prevent major damage to California, if we prevent key revenues from expiring on June 30th, and blowing a $12 billion hole in the budget. We have 90 days before that budget bomb blows up.

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