By Kevin Yamamura
Published: Sunday, May. 29, 2011 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 29, 2011 – 9:46 am

Gov. Jerry Brown originally called for a special election in June to ask voters to extend taxes to help balance the state budget, but that became impossible once talks ended in March. Now players at the Capitol are all over the map about whether ­ or when ­ to take the tax question to voters.


• Wants a special election as soon as possible, which realistically means September if the Legislature agrees on a budget by June.

• To balance the budget until an election, he wants lawmakers to extend sales and vehicle taxes from July 1 until the election.

• He backed off his original call for a retroactive extension of an income tax surcharge for 2011, though he still wants a smaller dependent tax credit.

Senate President Pro Tem DARRELL STEINBERG, D-Sacramento

• Wants to balance the 2011-12 budget by having the Legislature approve a one-year extension in taxes.

• Wants the electorate to vote on extending the taxes for four more years some- time in 2012.


• Opposes tax extensions and opposes an election, other than one on pension reductions and a spending cap.

• Issued a plan that relies on cuts such as a 10 percent reduction in state worker compensation and taking funds from First 5 and mental health programs, as well as Brown’s projection of unexpected tax revenue.

Assembly Speaker JOHN A. PÉREZ, D-Los Angeles<

• Believes the Legislature should approve taxes on its own but says he is open to a “ratification” by voters at some later date.


• The most recent public polls show broad support for an election, though that doesn’t translate into broad support for taxes. This includes Republicans who say they want a special election so they can vote against the taxes.

Legislative Analyst MAC TAYLOR

• Recommends that lawmakers, if they decide they need voter approval, wait to hold a special election until late in the 2011-12 fiscal year to avoid funding disruptions for schools and local governments.

State Treasurer BILL LOCKYER

• Says that if lawmakers agree to a special election, they will also need to enact spending cuts that would be “triggered” if voters reject taxes at the ballot. Without such cuts he says the state will not be able to pursue its normal $10 billion in short-term borrowing to pay bills.


• Say that if a midyear election is part of the solution, the state needs to approve “trigger” cuts ahead of time that will take effect if voters reject the taxes. Otherwise, the state will face complications in paying its bills.


• Wants the Legislature to approve tax extensions in the Capitol without going to the electorate.

• Says a tax election and possible midyear cut would be disruptive to schools.

SEIU California

• Wants the Legislature to approve tax extensions in the Capitol without going to the electorate. David Kieffer, head of SEIU California, says, “It’s irresponsible for everyone to come together to find a solution to get the budget done and then put everything at risk by having an election.”

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