By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: March 10, 2011
LOS ANGELES — When Gov. Jerry Brown first proposed his plan of tax extensions and deep cuts to close the $26 billion shortfall California is facing, he said it needed to pass the Legislature by March 10, so the taxes could be put before voters in a referendum in June, a key part of his plan.
That deadline passed on Thursday amid signs that Mr. Brown, a Democrat, might be making progress in persuading some Republicans to sign on to the bill and with Mr. Brown saying that the deadline was not that hard.
“We are in serious discussions with legislators on both sides of the aisle,” said Gil Duran, Mr. Brown’s spokesman. “He called a delay because the discussions have been productive.”
The Assembly speaker, John A. Pérez, asked members to stay on call for a possible vote Friday or over the weekend, said his spokesman, Shannon Murphy. Mr. Brown is looking to close the budget deficit with spending cuts and tax extensions, including sales and income tax surcharges, that would otherwise expire. To get the taxes on the ballot, he needs to win the support of two-thirds of the Legislature, which means winning support from two Republicans in the Senate and two Republicans in the House.
Mr. Brown has met repeatedly in recent days with five Republican senators who have signaled that they are open to a deal if Democrats yield on some issues of concern to them, including cuts in benefits for state workers and a state spending cap.
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