California Budget: Republicans Present New List Of Demands
California Republicans presented a new list of demands to Governor Brown two weeks after his self-imposed deadline for settling the budget deficit problem passed. According to the LA Times, Republicans' newest requests are being kept a secret for now, and leaders are keeping silent on whether they would consider voting to allow Californians to vote for tax extensions in a special election.
The Governor has fulfilled his part of the bargain, signing billions of budget cuts into law with the expectation that tax extensions will make up the other half of the $26 billion dollar deficit. Even though Brown has been negotiating with five GOP lawmakers for weeks about the special election, talks have broken down and all of them have withdrawn to defer leadership to Senator Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga. Sen. Dutton was joined by Sen. Bob Huff to request their "package of reforms" today in Governor Brown's office.
Reuters has a list of all the possible scenarios this showdown could end, including "legal maneuvering" and cutting billions more from the budget. The State Column even quotes Jerry Brown considering a November vote, “maybe through some initiatives, whatever.”
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg cuts to the chase: "I'm about ready to pull the plug. This isn't that hard. We know that there are things that we can and should do in the pension area, the regulatory reform area, in the budget restrain area -- God darn it! We've voted on and passed a number of spending restraint measures... Whether it's fear or just sort of the inability to negotiate in a way that narrows differences as opposed to continually expand them -- this is ridiculous."