Extra resources for students of State and Local Government 180, an upper-division GE class in the Government Department at Sacramento State University
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Inland Valley Bulletin: Governor Heads to Riverside and San Bernardino
Gov. Brown chides Dutton, plans IE visit
By James Rufus Koren Staff Writer
Created: 04/01/2011 06:49:59 PM PDT
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday took a swipe at state Senate minority leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, saying Dutton and other Republicans lack the courage necessary to balance the state's budget.
In a telephone interview, Brown said Dutton needs to drop his opposition to a special election in which Californians would vote on a set of tax extensions that would prevent major cuts to schools and other state programs. He also said he plans to visit San Bernardino County to drum up support for the extensions.
"Dutton is leading the charge to block any other alternatives other than massive and destructive cuts," Brown said. "Of all the people in California who could help solve this, Bob Dutton is No. 1. If he would just show some courage, we could get this done."
Dutton said Republican lawmakers offered Brown a solution but that Brown's allegiance to public employee unions is what's holding up the budget.
"I feel sad for the people of California," Dutton said. "It's unfortunate the governor ended talks with Republicans. I believe the governor wants to end the state's problems, but public employee unions are just blocking his efforts."
Brown said Tuesday that budget negotiations with Senate Republicans were over. Key sticking points were Republican demands for a state spending cap - something Brown says he is for, but not in the time frame Republicans wanted - and pension reforms for public employees. Brown put forward several pension reforms this week, but Dutton said they don't go far enough.
On Thursday, Brown said he plans to tour the state, campaigning with teachers and law enforcement officials in support of his proposed tax extensions. He said Friday he plans to visit San Bernardino County and hopes to get residents of Dutton's district to push for the tax measures.
"I'm hoping people rise up in righteous indignation," Brown said.
Brown spokesman Gil Duran said the governor will start campaigning around the state in the coming week, though a schedule has yet to be announced. Duran said Brown "will appear where it's most expected and least expected."
Wherever he visits, Brown's focus will be the effects of the cuts that would be necessary to balance the budget without more tax revenue.
With Republicans holding their line against putting the tax extensions on a special-election ballot, Brown said the state has no option but to cut about $13.5 billion more than it already has.
A cut that size will mean taking big bucks away from schools and law enforcement, he said, adding that he's not sure Republicans will vote for the necessary cuts.
"What I'm concerned about is some of the Republicans are saying they're not going to do anything," Brown said. "They get a per diem, they get a car, they get all sorts of goodies, but they won't help solve the problem."
In most cases, at least when it comes to additional cuts, that's not a problem because Democrats can pass most cuts without Republican support.
But to cut from public schools, Brown said the state needs to suspend Proposition 98 - a state measure that requires a certain portion of state funding go to schools - which would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. At least four Republican votes are needed.
"If they don't vote to suspend Prop. 98, we can't make the cuts," he said.
Dutton said Brown is "going to have problems getting Democratic votes" to suspend Proposition 98 and make other deep cuts.
But so far this spring, some Republicans have been unwilling to vote for cuts. In the Assembly, only the bare minimum of Republican lawmakers voted last month to approve billions in cuts to medical and social programs. Many Assembly Republicans at that time said there were other ways to balance the budget.
But Brown said that's not really true.
"If somebody thinks you can avoid massive cuts to education and law enforcement, they're not telling the truth," he said. "That's just budget numbers."