Thursday, March 3, 2011
California Assembly Speaker John Perez said he’s still hopeful that Republicans and Democrats can work out a budget deal soon. He said he won’t try to put a tax measure on the ballot without GOP support.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats want California voters to extend several tax increases. Typically, they’d need Republican votes to put the measure on the ballot. However, there’s been talk at the Capitol that Democrats may be able to do it alone. But Perez said that would not be legal – and Republicans must take part in the process.
“Nobody should abdicate their responsibility in deliberating what the budget should be,” Perez said. “The budget is the single most important document we pass as a state. It needs to be seen as the expression of our collective values as a state.”
Gov. Brown has said absent a tax extension, he supports a cuts-only budget to close the nearly $27 billion shortfall. Perez said he would challenge the Governor on that. The Speaker said he remains hopeful that common ground can be found. Governor Brown has set a March 10 deadline for a budget deal.