Californians await critical vote on the state budget

We are still awaiting a critical vote on the state budget in Sacramento which includes Governor Brown's budget cuts, and the tax extensions that are at the heart of his plan to eliminate the 26-billion dollar deficit. KUSI's Steve Bosh has been following the debate and reports on the latest details.

The legislators in both the Senate and Assembly scheduled this vote knowing they each needed two Republicans to join them to get the budget passed, and to get the tax extensions to the ballot for a June 7th special election.

Governor Brown's effort in the last couple of weeks to persuade four Republicans to join the Democrats have been unsuccessful. They couldn't reach a deal on the spending, pension reform, and environmental concessions.

The governor is proposing 12.5-billion in cuts, which all Democrats approve, and equal amount in tax extensions, which all Republicans oppose. So the Senate and the Assembly went into Wednesday's vote knowing they were short four votes.

The budget includes the elimination of redevelopment agencies, which most cities, including San Diego, oppose on a united front. This will likely be challenged in court.

The temporary tax hikes on vehicles, retail sales and the income tax would be extended for another 5-years, Republicans want 18 months.

The latest field poll shows 58-percent of registered voters will support an equal mix of taxes and cuts, including the special election on taxes. But 58-percent is considered a low number for a pre-campaign poll. And a vote anytime after June means the tax extension becomes a tax increase, much more difficult to sell to the voters.

The taxes added 125-dollars a year to a 20-thousand dollar vehicle. The state income tax added 340-dollars a year to a family with a child. And the sales tax was increased by 1-percent, or a penny on the dollar.

The Democrats will argue that not sending this to the voters will mean the 12.5-billion in cuts will have to be doubled to cover the entire deficit, and the pain will be unbearable.

Categories: KUSI