The second round of the California budget debate is now under way. Democrats in the State Senate approved several budget bills Friday by majority vote. But they couldn’t pick up the two Republican votes necessary to extend several tax increases for a year while voters decide whether to keep them beyond that.
Republican Tony Strickland said the taxes would put more Californians out of work.
“It’s a tax increase that people don’t want,” said Strickland. “They’ve already voted it down once. They’ll vote it down again.”
But Democrat Noreen Evans called it “fiscal prudence” to give school districts some much-needed budget certainty.
“To do otherwise means we open up a huge gap in this fiscal year’s budget and create economic chaos around the state,” said Evans.
When that “bridge tax” measure failed, Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg forced through his controversial backup plan – a bill that would expand the taxing authority of local governments. That bill is strongly opposed by Republicans and the business community.
The Senate will meet again Saturday.