Brown ends budget talks with Calif. GOP

March 29, 2011 at 11:07 PM
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SACRAMENTO, March 29 (UPI) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he was breaking off talks with Republican legislative leaders on the state's budget gap.

Brown said he and the GOP were deadlocked over his plan to address the $26 billion gap with spending cuts and a voter referendum in June on extending temporary taxes on income. He said Republicans refused to budge on his proposal to put the plan up for a public vote.

"Each and every Republican legislator I've spoken to believes that voters should not have this right to vote unless I agree to an ever changing list of collateral demands," Brown said in a written statement.

"While we made significant progress on these reform issues, the Republicans continued to insist on including demands that would materially undermine any semblance of a balanced budget," he said.

Brown needs the votes of two Republican Senate and two Assembly representatives to put a measure before the voters. One Republicans, state Sen. Anthony Cannella, told the Sacramento Bee that unions, trial lawyers and other Democratic-leaning groups were resisting talks on major issues such as pensions and regulatory changes.

Brown said he supports "pension reform, regulatory reform and a spending cap and offered specific and detailed proposals for each of these during our discussions."

The Bee said Brown's decision virtually assured a ballot measure would not make it to the June ballot.

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