By Jim Sanders
jsanders@sacbee.com
Published: Saturday, Sep. 17, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Saturday, Sep. 17, 2011 – 9:20 am

Saying his actions will help maintain the state’s balanced budget, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to give lawmakers more leverage in making emergency budget cuts and signed two bills extending revenue-producing charges on the health care industry.

Approved were Senate Bill 335, to extend a fee on private acute-care hospitals for 30 months, and Assembly Bill X1 21, to extend a tax on Medi-Cal managed care plans.

Rejected was Senate Bill X1 6, which would have altered the mechanism for automatic budget cuts if state revenue falls below projections this year.

“This year – for the first time in a long time – we passed a no-gimmicks, on-time budget,” Brown said in his veto message. “Why would we undermine the plan that has earned widespread respect and helped stabilize California’s finances?”

By creating uncertainty about budget cuts, the bill could have affected the state’s ability to sell bonds, Brown noted. The measure would not have eliminated or altered any programs now on the chopping block if emergency cuts are needed, but it would have required legislative leaders to be consulted about possible alternatives.

Under current law, cuts of up to $2.5 billion would be made to K-12 schools, higher education, public safety and social services if state revenue fails to meet projections.

The two revenue-producing measures that Brown signed each passed the Legislature by a two-thirds margin.

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