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With state government gridlocked, politicians turn to the voters

December 6, 2011 | 11:58 am

This year's bipartisan budget negotiations in Sacramento broke down over three key issues: taxes, public employee pensions and a limit on future state spending. Despite lawmakers' inability to reach a deal on those issues, it appears voters will have a chance to have their say on all three.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday introduced his proposal to raise sales taxes and income taxes for upper earners, and has said he wants curbs on public pensions on the November ballot. On Tuesday, a coalition of taxpayer groups filed a measure to limit state spending, something legislative Republicans have insisted be a part of any tax-increase plan.

The new initiative would cap state spending, allowing increases linked to the annual growth in personal income.

"This sound and sensible proposal will force government to live within its means, balance the budget, pay down debt and control spending," said Teresa Casazza, president of the California Taxpayers Assn. "It is time voters demand fiscal discipline by passing this measure, which calls for excess revenue above the limit to first be used to pay down state debt."

The text of the spending-limit measure is available on the state attorney general's office website.


Jerry Brown to take tax hike plan straight to voters

Gov. Jerry Brown defends plan to reduce pension costs

Jerry Brown discusses budget-talk breakdown in new YouTube video

-- Anthony York in Sacramento