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Gov. Brown warns of initiative war if bipartisan talks breakdown

Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday he was skeptical that Republicans would support his proposal for a statewide vote this fall on extending taxes that are set to expire and that an initiative fight in 2012 was increasingly likely.

Brown told a room of about 250 apartment owners and developers in San Francisco that fixing California's broken finances "will take some constitutional changes, it will take the use of the initiative in all probability."

While Brown spoke, Senate Republicans held a hastily arranged news conference in front of Brown's Capitol office to blame the governor for stalled budget negotiations.

"Brown is not telling the truth about what is holding up this budget," said Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga). "We are here to make it clear once again that the reason that there is no budget deal is that the governor, the Democratic majority in the Legislature and their allies refuse to allow the voters the opportunity to reform pensions and control state over-spending."

Brown rushed out of the Moscone Center ballroom with only brief remarks to reporters, but his spokesman, Gil Duran, accused Senate Republicans of "grandstanding." "If they think the state budget can be balanced without tax extensions, then they should show that plan to the people,” he said.

-- Anthony York in San Francisco

 
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