For only the second time in 25 years, the California legislature submitted a budget to the governor by the June 15th deadline. The budget proposal however was promptly denied as Governor Jerry Brown wasted no time vetoing the Democratic plan, leaving Senate and Assembly leadership “deeply dismayed” according to Senate Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg who also added “”What’s wrong with declaring partial victory?”, saying that Brown appeared uninterested in a “Plan B” for closing a $10 billion budget gap.
Due to the passage of Proposition 25 last year, lawmakers knew that if no budget plan were submitted by midnight June 15th, a forfeiture of salaries and per diem would be enacted until a budget was agreed upon. Proposition 25 also removed the requirement for a budget to be voted on by two-thirds of lawmakers and instead only required a simple majority. With a Democratic majority in both houses, the budget submitted last Wednesday night reluctantly is being dubbed “an imperfect solution necessary to meet the deadline without GOP support”. Wednesday’s plan included several revenue implementations that Brown had already vocally disagreed with.
In a press conference held minutes after news of a vetoed budget proposal broke, the governor stated, “We need four Republican votes, and in the next several days I’m going to do everything I can… I’ll move heaven and earth to get those votes.” For months Brown has been wrapped up in talks with members of the GOP trying to get the four Republican votes; in exchange however, the Republicans are asking for public pension reductions, a new constitutional spending cap and regulatory rollbacks as well as reform to the California Environmental Quality Act in an effort to promote business activity. Receiving credit from his opposing side for vetoing a “sham” budget, the governor has made it quite clear: failure to reach a budget agreement would be on Republican lawmakers’ hands. With only 13 days before the new fiscal year begins and a budget must be agreed upon, the Planning and Conservation League will keep you updated as news develops.