10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, April 7, 2011

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown will join teachers and government officials at a Riverside school this morning, his first in a promised series of public appearances to drum up support for extending higher taxes to close a budget gap.

Brown will visit a classroom and later “discuss how the state’s budget crisis is impacting schools in Riverside County,” his office said. Brown has said he has “a moral obligation to communicate the consequences” of an all-cuts budget.

Today’s stop at Arlanza Elementary School comes as progress in the Capitol on closing the $26.6 billion shortfall has all but ground to a halt after last week’s collapse of negotiations between Brown and legislative Republicans.

GOP lawmakers have demanded changes in how the state operates, such as a spending cap and revamped pension system, before considering Brown’s proposal for ballot measures to continue temporary tax increases on income, sales and vehicles.

At least one Republican will join Brown. Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione, the president of the California State Association of Counties, confirmed that he will be with the governor.

At the Capitol on Thursday, members of the Senate budget committee blamed each other for the budget breakdown. Democratic state Sen. Loni Hancock, who represents Berkeley, suggested closing UC and CSU campuses to preserve “flagship” facilities.

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