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Donnelly says Brown should return budget surplus to taxpayers

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly announces his run for California governor in Baldwin Park.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly announces his run for California governor in Baldwin Park.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican candidate for governor, said Wednesday that Gov. Jerry Brown should return any budget surplus to taxpayers rather than increase spending, because voters approved temporary tax increases in 2012 to shore up the state’s finances.

“If Jerry Brown has a surplus, he should return it to the people he took it from -- the people of California,” Donnelly said in a written statement. “Instead, he’s giving pay increases to union members while leaving regular, hardworking taxpayers out to dry.”

The Twin Peaks lawmaker was responding to Brown’s State of the State speech, in which the governor laid out his accomplishments of the past year, notably turning a deficit into a surplus.

Donnelly said Brown’s speech whitewashed difficulties faced by Californians and painted an inaccurate picture of his gubernatorial record in order to boost a widely anticipated reelection bid.

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“Jerry Brown has pitched a very rosy scenario,” Donnelly said. “This State of the State address was more a stump speech and an unofficial launch for his reelection campaign than an honest assessment of the crisis that still faces most Californians.”

Donnelly criticized Brown for failing to mention the number of people who are unemployed or living in poverty, criticisms also raised by new GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari.

Donnelly also argued that Brown ought to shift his support from a $68-billion high-speed rail system to back-to-basics needs.

“Today, Jerry Brown addressed the drought in California, but he failed to address the economic drought facing Californians,” Donnelly said. “ ... He’s pitching high-speed rail and other high-dollar projects; instead, he should be paying down pension liabilities, building a high-speed waterway, and highways his father built, in order to truly get our state back on track.”

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ALSO:

Brown in unofficial campaign mode

Neel Kashkari, ex-Treasury official, running for California governor

San Diego Democrat Toni Atkins on track to become the next Assembly speaker

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Twitter: @LATSeema

seema.mehta@latimes.com


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