Friday, September 9, 2011

Sac Bee Capitol Alert: Senate GOP leader seeks special session on tax plan

The latest on California politics and government

Senate GOP leader asks Brown for special session on tax plan
The Sacramento Bee
by Torey Van Oot, September 8, 2011

Senate GOP leader Bob Dutton has asked Gov. Jerry Brown to hold off pushing his corporate tax package in the final two days of the legislative session and instead call a special session on jobs and tax reform.

"There is nothing more complex than tax reform, and trying to jam through a proposal on the last day of session without transparency or input from the public and tax experts is irresponsible," the Rancho Cucamonga Republican wrote in a letter to Brown.

The Democratic governor held a press conference early this afternoon to announce that he had reached a deal to win the two GOP votes in the Assembly needed to pass his proposal, which was first unveiled last month. But Brown still needs the votes of at least two Senate Republicans in order to pass the plan, which includes a change to corporate tax calculations that is projected to raise about $1 billion annually that would be directed to specific tax breaks.

Dutton was noncommittal when asked whether there was support in his caucus for the governor's plan, saying "I can't say I'm not going to support something I haven't even seen." But language used in the letter doesn't suggest much interest in supporting the package in its current form-- it describes Brown's plan as a "tax increase proposal that was developed behind closed doors without any input from Senate Republicans."

Republican Sen. Bob Huff, vice chair of the Senate Budget Committee, told The Bee he'd have to "see what's actually in there" before taking a stance.

But Brown responded to Dutton's letter by saying Californians "need action now."

"Mr. Dutton should join his colleagues in the Assembly and help pass this bipartisan jobs plan. Don't talk about tomorrow when you can act today," he said in a statement.

Editor's note: This post was updated at 3:24 p.m. with comments from Brown.

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