Gov. Brown Vetoes Budget - NBC Bay Area

Gov. Brown Vetoes Budget

Calls on Republicans to reconsider tax extensions



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    California Governor Jerry Brown (C) delivers the State of the State address at the State Capitol on Jan. 31, 2011, in Sacramento.

    Citing the lack of an "honest, balanced budget," Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday vetoed the budget approved by the legislature.

    Document: Gov. Jerry Brown's Veto Message (PDF)

    In a YouTube video and veto message, Brown called a balanced budget "critical to our economic recovery" and asked Republicans to reconsider putting tax extensions on the ballot."

    "Unfortunately, the budget I have received is not a balanced solution," according to Brown, who was scheduled to further discuss his veto at a Los Angeles news conference Thursday afternoon. "It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars in new debt.

    "It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings," Brown added.

    In a statement, state Controller John Chiang expressed support for the Governor’s decision but also reaffirmed his commitment to enforce part of Proposition 25, a measure passed by voters that includes a provision to withhold legislator’s pay until a budget is passed.

    "I remain resolute in my commitment to enforcing the public's will to permanently withhold legislative pay for every day a balanced budget is not passed after yesterday's deadline,” Chiang said.

    "I will move quickly to complete our analysis of whether the budget bills passed Wednesday meet the constitutional definition, or fall short, which would require my office to forfeit their pay under Proposition 25. We are awaiting the final budget bill language before we begin our examination."

    MORE: Full Text of State Controller's Statement

    Los Angeles city leaders had expressed concern that the state budget would have impacted the city's Community Redevelopment Agency, which would have seen an initial $70 million hit and subsequent annual payments to the state of about $38 million in order to continue operating.

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and mayors of nine other other cities -- including Long Beach, Anaheim and Santa Ana -- issued a statement condemning the Legislature for "failing to craft a legal and sustainable budget."

    "Their so-called remedy for the state's deficit is an illegal and indefensible shakedown of our cities," according to the statement. "Over the past several months, we have pro-actively worked with state leaders to create sound alternatives that keep redevelopment alive and solve the state's budget problems.

    "But rather than create sensible, long-term solutions for California's dismal financial problems, they sought to recklessly raid local tax dollars and kill redevelopment -- our strongest local tool to revitalize the economy and create jobs now."

    Brown took shots at both Democrats and Republicans in his veto message. He said he had proposed a balanced budget in January that would have protected education and public safety through a temporary extension of some taxes upon voter approval.

    "Yet Republicans in the Legislature blocked the right of the people to vote on this honest, balanced budget," Brown said.

    It remains to be seen how legislators will proceed from here and if they will get paid. An amendment to the state constitution approved by voters in November prevents lawmakers from getting paid unless they pass a balanced budget by a June 15 deadline. It does not specify whether or not the budget must be signed by the governor.