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Brown Has Veto Options With New State Budget

Aired 6/17/13 on KPBS News.

The California legislature finished up its work on the state budget over the weekend - but spending levels aren't set in stone yet. Governor Jerry Brown has until the middle of next week to sign the budget and issue any line-item vetoes.

Governor Brown’s signature is the last step in a more than six month budget process. But he doesn’t have to accept the document exactly as it is. As governor, Brown has the ability to make line item vetoes. That is, he can delete –or reduce- any spending item, also known as using his “blue pencil.” Still, Democratic Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield says he’s not expecting anything drastic.

“Particularly the things that we negotiated out, in terms of the amount,” he says, “I don’t expect that he would blue pencil those things, because it was part of a negotiated arraignment.”

But University of Southern California Political Analyst Dan Schnur says just because the sides reached an agreement doesn’t mean Brown’s completely satisfied with the outcome.

“It’s reasonable to assume that,” he says, “given the disagreements with the Democratic legislative leadership that he’s expressed over the last several months, that Governor Brown would use the line item veto very extensively as he goes through the budget.”

Schnur says Brown can’t fundamentally change the budget, but he can use his veto to trim around the edges.

Brown has until the middle of next week to issue any line-item vetoes.

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