Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gov vetos budget

Today, Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. vetoed the state budget, which the state legislature adopted yesterday. The state Legislature complied with Proposition 25, approved in Nov. 2010, requiring that a fiscal year budget be adopted prior to June 15, otherwise legislators would not receive their salaries.

The Legislature adopted a budget that eliminated a $10 billion gap between revenues and expenses on a simple majority vote, without any Republican support.

Local Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R 64) supports the governor’s decision, “Obviously, the governor is dedicated to a no BS budget,” Nestande said today.

More than a billion dollars of taxes and fees were part of the package, including a new $150 fee on property owners with structures within a state responsibility area (SRA).

According to Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins, Idyllwild and Pine Cove are within a SRA. The legislation defines a structure as “building used or intended to be used for human habitation. ”A mobile home or manufactured home specifically qualify as structures. Any building that would require no fire protection would be exempt.

The fee’s future is in abeyance because of Brown’s veto. Nestande believes that this fee, which is new and not an extension of an existing tax, should be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature. If it were enacted, Nestande expects a legal challenge to its legality.

Governor’s Veto message:

“I am returning Senate Bill 69 and Assembly Bill 98 without my signature.

“In January, I presented a balanced budget solution with a mix of deep spending cuts and temporary tax extensions subject to voter approval. My plan would put these extended revenues in a lockbox, ensuring that they are only used to protect education and public safety. It would also address California’s long term fiscal crisis by substantially paying down the $35 billion wall of debt built up over the last decade.

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

“Meanwhile, Democrats in the Legislature made valiant efforts to address California’s budget crisis by enacting $11 billion in painful cuts and other solutions. I commend them for their tremendous efforts to balance the budget in the absence of Republican cooperation.

“Unfortunately, the budget I have received is not a balanced solution. It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars of new debt. It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings. Finally, it is not financeable and therefore will not allow us to meet our obligations as they occur.

“We can – and must – do better. A balanced budget is critical to our economic recovery. I am, once again, calling on Republicans to allow the people of California to vote on tax extensions for a balanced budget and significant reforms. They should also join Democrats in supporting job creation and ending tax breaks for out-of-state companies. If they continue to obstruct a vote, we will be forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts to schools and public safety– a tragedy for which Republicans will bear full responsibility.”

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