LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday vetoed the state budget approved by Democratic lawmakers — a spending package that had Los Angeles- area city officials and education leaders scrambling to figure out how the spending proposal would impact services and schools.
“Unfortunately, the budget I have received is not a balanced solution,” according to Brown, who was scheduled to further discuss his veto at a Los Angeles news conference this afternoon. “It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars in new debt.
“It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings,” Brown added.
Brown took shots at both Democrats and Republicans in his veto message. He said he had proposed a balanced budget in January that would have protected education and public safety through a temporary extension of some taxes upon voter approval.
“Yet Republicans in the Legislature blocked the right of the people to vote on this honest, balanced budget,” Brown said.
It remains to be seen how legislators will proceed from here and if they will get paid. An amendment to the state constitution approved by voters in November prevents lawmakers from getting paid unless they pass a balanced budget by a June 15 deadline. It does not specify whether or not the budget must be signed by the governor.
“We can and must do better,” Brown said.
He added a warning to Republicans: “If they continue to obstruct a vote, we will be forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts to schools and public safety — a tragedy for which Republicans will bear full responsibility.”
Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, on Wednesday called the budget package “irresponsible” and said it “demonstrates that legislative Democrats would rather pander to their special interest allies than adopt the long-term budget solutions that Californians demand and deserve.”
“Let me say it again, Senate Republicans provided Governor Brown and the Democrats a pathway to a bi-partisan budget solution that would have allowed voters to decide on taxes, meaningful pension reform and a hard spending cap,” Dutton said. “On March 25, Governor Brown said no and broke off budget negotiations with Republicans.”
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)