Both houses of the California Legislature passed the main budget bill on Thursday on a majority vote with only Democratic members supporting the spending plan. However, several major issues – including elimination of Redevelopment Agencies and authorization for a special election to “extend” certain taxes via a vote in June – have all been left unresolved.
The Democratic majority passed the budget bill on a majority vote due to approval of Proposition 25 last November – this is the first time in history that a 2/3’s vote was not required for such action. However, because they contain spending and taxation, all of the budget “trailer” (or implementing legislation) continue to require the higher vote threshold.
The budget approved by the Legislature is very close to what was originally proposed by the Governor in January. The plan aims to close a $25 billion budget gap with roughly a fifty-fifty split between spending cuts and revenue enhancements (tax extensions).
The Governor and Democrats would like the tax provisions on the ballot to be endorsed by a vote of the people. These tax proposals include an additional 1 percent sales tax, a quarter percent surcharge on income tax, and higher vehicle license fees.
The Legislature has adjourned for the weekend and talks are expected to resume next week.
Click here for a detailed story about this historical budget vote.
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