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Gov. Brown says budget plan 'can't work' without bridge tax

June 13, 2011 | 11:29 am

With two days until the deadline for a budget, the critical disagreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and Republicans remains the attempt to extend tax hikes until a fall referendum, and the governor said he had no intention of backing down.

Brown, in a Monday news conference flanked by a bipartisan group of business, labor and public safety officials, said his budget plan is "not workable" without such a bridge tax.

“It can’t work. It doesn’t make any sense,” Brown said, calling his plan the “adult pathway to the future.”

The governor wants to ask voters to extend temporary hikes in the sales and vehicle tax rate for five years and renew an income tax rate increase for four years.

Wednesday marks the constitutional deadline for lawmakers to approve a spending plan. Asked if he would sign a plan that does not balance only with taxes and spending cuts but gimmicks, Brown answered less definitively than he has in the past.

“I just don’t give you all my strategies before I implement them,” he said.

If lawmakers do not approve a budget by June 15, they will permanently forfeit their pay for each day a spending plan is missing. Brown said Monday that they shouldn’t go home until their work is done and made plain the status of talks.

“We need four Republican votes,” he said.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento