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Hopes of Placing Tax Extensions on Ballot Dim

Gov. Jerry Brown halts budget talks, saying the GOP wants him to agree to “an ever changing list of collateral demands.”

Gov. Jerry Brown's announcement Tuesday that he had halted budget negotiations because of Republican unwillingness to place his proposed tax extensions on the ballot won't come as good news to Westwood school principals and parents who have been writing letters to their state legislators in an effort to persuade them to support those extensions and put them to a vote of the public.

Democrats have approved placing the extensions on the ballot, but Republicans in Sacramento have been digging in their heels.

The governor issued a statement Tuesday afternoon expressing his frustration, saying: "Yesterday, I stopped the discussions that I had been conducting with various members of the Republican Party regarding our state’s massive deficit."

On March 24, Brown signed several bills that would reduce the state’s budget by $11 billion. He had hoped to move forward with his plan and garner support from the Legislature for an additional $12.5 billion in spending cuts and $12 billion in temporary tax extensions.

“The budget plan that I put forth is balanced between deep cuts and extensions of currently existing taxes and I believe it is in the best interest of California," Brown's statement said. "Under our constitution, however, two Republicans from the Assembly and two from the Senate must agree before this matter can be put to the people. 

 “Each and every Republican legislator I’ve spoken to believes that voters should nothave this right to vote unless I agree to an ever-changing list of collateral demands.”

Some of those demands were mentioned in a letter that the governor sent to state Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton on Friday. In part the letter said:

“…I was surprised and frankly disappointed that you came today with a very long list of demands (53 separate proposals), many of which are new and have nothing to do with the budget… your list of demands—if met— would undermine my entire budget proposal by undoing major elements and extending the taxes for only 18 months.”

In halting negotiations, Brown said he plans to focus his efforts in the coming weeks on speaking with Californians to find  “honest and real solutions” to the budget crisis.

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Debra W. March 30, 2011 at 09:10 PM
As one of the LAUSD teachers who received a layoff notice, I would like to thank the Republicans for their support. /sarcasm I hope you will be happy knowing that many EXCELLENT teachers will now be out of work, class sizes are going to go up, and California's students will NOT be getting the education they deserve. Gains that we have made over the past few years at my school will be lost with larger class sizes. But, I guess that doesn't matter to the Republicans who won't even let the voters decide. I'm sure their children don't even attend public schools, so why would they care? It is very sad that my school will lose me as a teacher. I am one of the most dedicated teachers and my class receives some of the highest test scores in the school. But, that does not matter. I am just a number right now. Hopefully someone out there will be willing to hire a dedicated First Grade teacher. Trader Joe's, perhaps? Certainly no schools out there will be hiring. What a shame.

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