Brown promises Democrats alternative budget plan
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Gov. Jerry Brown told Democratic lawmakers Tuesday that he was preparing an alternative to his budget proposal and would present it to Democratic leaders as early as Wednesday.
Brown’s statements were confirmed by multiple lawmakers who attended closed-door meetings with the governor and his senior aides Tuesday. Brown spokesman Gil Duran said the administration had no immediate comment.
Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, described Brown as “fairly circumspect” about this alternative proposal, which is expected to include deeper cuts to state programs in place of the higher vehicle, sales and income taxes Brown originally proposed.
Leno said Brown is planning to present the new budget blueprint to Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) on Wednesday.
Democrats said Brown did not specify whether the alternative plan would require any Republican support, but Brown described it as “a vote people could live with,” said Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles).
But all signs point to Brown seeking an alternative that does not require GOP votes. Brown met with Senate and Assembly Democrats on Tuesday. He did not meet with the two Republican caucuses.
For months, Brown has rigidly stuck to his budget proposal, which included plans for voters to weigh in on billions in sales, income and vehicle taxes to help balance the state’s books. Such an election could require at least four Republicans to support the governor’s proposal -– support Brown has thus far found elusive. Democratic leaders criticized Brown’s veto of their budget last week, blasting the governor for failing to deliver Republican votes for his plan or map out a plan that did not contain taxes or require GOP support.
Last week, Brown said he blamed Republicans for the budget impasse and threatened to go around them with a majority-vote budget and pursue future ballot measures asking voters to give the state more revenues.
-- Anthony York and Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento