Update on State Budget Talks

Fri, 06/10/2011 (All day)

California budget processThe California legislature has resumed budget negotiations for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, with three-month tax extensions as the main point of contention between Democratic and Republican lawmakers.  Temporary tax rates adopted in 2008 will expire this July 1st, decreasing the state's revenue stream and prompting some school districts and other state-supported agencies to adopt 'doomsday budgets' and begin layoffs. 

Governor Brown and Democratic legislators support a bridge tax that would extend sales & vehicle taxes at 2008 levels until September 2011, when Californians will vote on whether to extend the taxes.  Republicans do not support the bridge tax, pointing to Brown's campaign promise that he would not ratify new taxes without voter approval.  Although GOP lawmakers have agreed to put the tax extension measure on the ballot this fall, they did not support a similar measure for a June ballot that would have allowed voters to extend the taxes prior to the July 1st expiration date.

The constitutional deadline for passing a budget is Wednesday, June 15th; beyond this date, legislators may not receive payroll & travel expenses until a balanced budget is submitted.

In addition to potentially preventing some layoffs and other cuts in public schools and other agencies, a bridge tax would allow the September ballot measure to call for "tax extensions" instead of "tax increases."  According to the Sacramento Bee, "Tax extensions fare better than tax increases among voters. Convincing voters to pass tax extensions in a special election will be difficult. Getting them to pass tax increases will be virtually impossible, according to polls."  Read the full article, which also includes answers to common questions about the state budget process, by clicking here.

California Partnership is holding a rally on June 15th in downtown Los Angeles to show support for a balanced budget that includes revenue for social services, health and education.  Their flyer is below.

California Partnership Rally



Photo: California poppies by Flickr user Daniel Peckham.  Creative Commons licensed for fair use.