LOS ANGELES, Mar 30 – California Governor Jerry Brown has suspended his protracted negotiations with Republicans over the deficit-ridden state budget over an opposition refusal to back a public vote on extending tax hikes.
"I stopped the discussions that I had been conducting with various members of the Republican party regarding our state\’s massive deficit," Brown announced in a statement late Tuesday where he also defended his budget plan as being "balanced between deep cuts and extensions of currently existing taxes."
Brown\’s predecessor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, introduced several tax measures with which he hoped to cut into the state\’s colossal deficit, valued at $25 billion.
The taxes expire this year and Brown needed the votes of at least four elected Republicans to get the measure on a ballot, but Tuesday gave up his quest for them.
"Each and every Republican legislator I’ve spoken to believes that voters should not have this right to vote unless I agree to an ever changing list of collateral demands," Brown complained in his statement.
"While we made significant progress on these reform issues, the Republicans continued to insist on including demands that would materially undermine any semblance of a balanced budget," Brown said.
"My budget plan requires that gigantic corporations be treated the same as individual taxpayers and not be allowed to choose their preferred tax rate," Brown said.
"The Republicans demand that out-of-state corporations that keep jobs out of California be given a billion dollar tax break that will come from our schoolchildren, public safety and our universities. This I am not willing to do."
In 2009 a budget crisis pushed California, which would have the world\’s eighth largest economy if it were a country, to the brink of bankruptcy, sending its credit-rating plunging and forcing it to pay bills with IOUs.
Brown, who was first California\’s governor from 1975-1983, said the cuts would be "painful" but necessary to revive the state.