This week the California State Assembly and State Senate face a Wednesday constitutional deadline to pass a budget. California Jerry Brown is looking for Republican votes for tax extensions and so far has not obtained them.
The question everyone is asking: will a Republican legislature sell out their party and no tax increase pledge?
Now to the links:
Gov. Jerry Brown said in an online video Sunday that he wants changes in pensions regulations and state pensions to be part of a budget deal, but he still lacks the support from four Republican lawmakers to place those reforms and billions in taxes before voters this fall.
Brown said his plan “will put California’s finances on a firm footing for many, many years to come…but what we don’t have are the four Republican votes necessary to put it to a vote of the people of California.”
He did not outline what those policy changes would entail, but said he was “really perplexed at why a package of this magnitude and this permanence … cannot be allowed for you the people to decide on.
Brown posted the video to his YouTube channel Sunday, just three days before lawmakers are constitutionally required to pass a budget, to give his budget status report to voters.
This year, for the first time, lawmakers’ pay will be docked if no spending plan is in place by Wednesday’s deadline.
Brown plans to hold a Capitol press conference Monday with representatives from many of the various groups that have backed his budget, and the idea of placing higher vehicle, sales and income tax rates before voters, along with changes to state pensions and a limit of future state spending.
Now that Republican lawmakers have voted against a renewal of expiring tax hikes, Democrats are turning to another, more complex way to generate revenue.
A bill proposed by state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and narrowly approved last week would dramatically expand the taxing powers of local governments, school boards and other jurisdictions.
But the bill, SB23-1X, would lead to such a complicated latticework of taxes that opponents say Steinberg is merely pulling a stunt to ramp up pressure against Republican lawmakers.
The Sacramento Democrat said his legislation would give public schools and law enforcement agencies a firmer source of funding if lawmakers don’t come up with one directly.
It would grant sweeping authority to local governments to raise money, with voter approval, through taxes on income, vehicles, alcohol, tobacco, medical marijuana, soda and companies that pump oil in California.
Steinberg introduced his local tax proposal on Friday, soon after the defeat in the Senate of the main bill to renew temporary increases in the statewide sales and vehicle taxes that will expire June 30. It passed, but with only the bare 21-vote majority needed. One Democrat voted against it and three others abstained.
The bill applies to counties, school districts, community college districts and county offices of education. Critics said it would create a logistical nightmare of inconsistent tax policies that likely would be challenged in court and with a ballot referendum seeking to repeal it.
With the release of a round of redistricting maps Friday, I mentioned that GOP Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, John Cambpell, Ed Royce and Gary Miller could be playing musical chairs.
Rohrabacher may be busy in the Middle East, but he found time to make it clear he doesn’t plan to look for a new district to run in.
The latest drafts throw Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, and Campbell, R-Irvine, into the same coastal district (“OCCOAST” on the map). Campbell could run for the proposed Orange-Rancho Santa Margarita district instead – but Dave Gilliard, the consultant for Royce, R-Fullerton, says that Royce has been looking for a home in Orange and considers that the heart of his district.
If Royce stays in Fullerton and the new district surrounding that city, he could face Miller, R-Diamond Bar, since proposed map eliminate the GOP-advantage in Los Angeles County portion of his district. I’d give Royce the edge in that race, since Miller doesn’t live in the county.
Here’s the statement that came last night from Rohrabacher’s camp:
Congressman Rohrabacher announced today that whatever the end configuration of the districts, he will be running in the area of Orange County that he has represented for many years.
“I share a bond both philosophically and personally with these people. This is the area where people want limited government and personal liberty, which is something we share. I am raising my family here and feel very comfortable with the values of the people of this part of Orange County and they feel comfortable with me.”
Rohrabacher believes there’s likely to be shifts in the proposed district lines between now and the election but points to his long standing relationship with the people of the area.
“However the districts are shaped, I’m sure that the candidates and the voters will use this as a way of getting to know each other better. So we end up with districts that are more equal in population and voters who are more fairly represented.”
Enjoy your morning!