From the moment he took office at the start of last year, Governor Jerry Brown has told California voters the state needs new revenue. But his November tax initiative, Proposition 30, faces strong opposition on several fronts and is hovering at around 50 percent support in the polls.
Governor Brown sat down with reporter Ben Adler Thursday in Sacramento to talk about the impact of Prop 30’s passage or failure on next year’s budget.
The governor says there’s a lot on the line with Proposition 30. He won’t rule out future budget cuts if the measure passes, but insists California will be far better off.
“As people go into the voting booth or fill out their absentee ballot, all they have to say is, look – have our schools taken enough cuts yet?”
He says the tax increases in Prop 30 are reasonable…
“It’s just pretty simple: If you buy a $4 sandwich, could you pay another penny? ’Cause that’s what we’re talking about.”
And Governor Brown says he’ll veto any attempt to reverse the automatic trigger cuts in the state budget if the measure fails.
“The cuts to the schools, to the colleges, that’s baked into the budget. And if ‘Yes on 30’ passes, those cuts don’t happen. If the ‘No’ people prevail, then we get the cuts.”
But David Wolfe with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says the governor should re-think his priorities and make sure education gets funded – without new taxes.
“There’s been no reforms: minimal pension reform, high-speed rail being built in the middle of the Central Valley with track that’s not electrified. It’s hard to justify $50 billion in higher taxes when you can’t make the reforms to control spending.”
Polls show the measure with about 50 percent support.
Listen to the complete interview: