California Gov. Seeks Public Vote On Tax Increases California Gov. Jerry Brown has broken off budget talks with the state Legislature, rekindling fears that the state will not be able to back away from the fiscal abyss. John Myers of member station KQED has details.
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California Gov. Seeks Public Vote On Tax Increases

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California Gov. Seeks Public Vote On Tax Increases

California Gov. Seeks Public Vote On Tax Increases

California Gov. Seeks Public Vote On Tax Increases

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California Gov. Jerry Brown has broken off budget talks with the state Legislature, rekindling fears that the state will not be able to back away from the fiscal abyss. John Myers of member station KQED has details.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

John Myers reports from our member station KQED.

JOHN MYERS: A few hours after budget talks broke down at the state capitol in Sacramento, Jerry Brown posted a video on YouTube reminding everyone why his proposal to tackle a $26 billion deficit was the right one.

JERRY BROWN: It's a balanced plan and has the support of business, of labor, of environmentalists, of farm groups. I mean an amazing coalition that spans the spectrum.

MYERS: But the few Republicans who considered signing off on a tax ballot measure wanted more - long-term changes in public employee pensions, fewer business regulations, and a temporary cap on state spending.

BILL EMERSON: The governor and his stakeholders were unwilling to go there.

MYERS: Republican Bill Emerson is a state senator from Riverside County, east of Los Angeles. He said it all fell apart over the idea of a spending cap, one that would stay in place and limit new expenses until billions of dollars in existing debt was paid off.

EMERSON: Our problem is a structural problem that keeps going on and on and on, and we need to make that correction and get that taken care of.

MYERS: Democrat Darrell Steinberg is the president pro tem of the California state senate.

DARRELL STEINBERG: The only thing missing from this list is a pony, and we'd give them a pony if they gave the people the opportunity to cast a vote.

MYERS: Governor Brown has insisted he will not use the many budget-balancing gimmicks of years past. He says that means without taxes, California's deficit will be erased solely with cuts.

BROWN: All cuts is going to be an irreversible path forward that will leave a lot of tears in its wake.

MYERS: For NPR News, I'm John Myers, in Sacramento.

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