By PE Politics
March 29, 2011 3:50 PM
State Sen. Bill Emmerson said Tuesday that budget negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown are over and won’t restart.
Emmerson, R-Hemet, was one of a group of Republicans who have had on-again, off-again talks with Brown about government changes. Brown had sought their support for proposed ballot measures to extend higher taxes on vehicles, sales and income.
Talks ended late Monday, Emmerson said.
“They’ve said they can’t meet the objectives of the issues we’ve put forward and that ends that discussion,” Emmerson said Tuesday.
“We gave them a great pathway to get California back on track,” Emmerson added. “I think we lost a real opportunity to move California forward.”
Besides Emmerson, the latest talks included state senators Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, and Anthony Canella, R-Ceres. All three were members of the GOP 5 that began meeting with Brown in recent months.
Tuesday, Emmerson said the governor’s office seemed willing to go along with Republican demands on changing the pension system for government workers and some easing of regulations.
But Emmerson said the governor refused to agree to a hard spending cap that would include early repayment of certain debt. Brown also refused to drop a proposal to change how corporations calculate their tax liability, which Republicans view as a tax increase. Those were deal breakers for the three Republicans, Emmerson said.
Despite the breakdown in talks, the senator praised Brown as “a very honorable adversary.”
“He is a remarkable individual, very open-minded,” Emmerson said. “I have the utmost respect for him.”
To read updates to story, click here.