California Gov. Jerry Brown wasted little time in vetoing Thursday the budget sent to him less than 24 hours earlier by the Legislature.
“California is facing a fiscal crisis and strong medicine must be taken,” Brown said in a video announcing his decision. “I am vetoing today because I don’t want to see more billions in borrowing, legal maneuvers and a budget that will not stand the test of time.”
On Wednesday afternoon California lawmakers passed a majority-vote budget, beating a midnight deadline and saving their pay.
Without a deal between Brown and Republican legislators on an election to extend temporary taxes, the budget sent to the Democratic governor closed a $9.6 billion hole using mainly one-times fixes and passed by a simple majority of mostly Democrats.
Brown said the Democrats’ budget showed positive signs but did not go far enough. He blamed GOP lawmakers for blocking better solutions.
The state’s fiscal year ends June 30.
Brown has so far been unable to get enough Republican lawmakers on board to bridge the two-thirds threshold needed to approve an election that would ask voters to approve extending temporary taxes, which is the linchpin of his budget proposal.
The budget sent to the governor included two bills focused on restructuring redevelopment agencies and directing them to give up revenue to the state.
It also relied mainly on spending cuts and higher fees, including raising vehicle registration fees and local sales-tax rates, a sale-leaseback of state buildings, and forcing online retailers to collect sales tax.
As tension ran high in the Legislature, a fight almost broke out on the Assembly floor during the heated rhetoric over the redevelopment agencies.
Republicans said the approved budget lacked pension and regulatory reform and a spending cap.
Lawmakers had been under pressure due to two propositions approved by voters that require them to pass a balanced budget or have their pay docked every day it is late.
State Controller John Chiang had said he would withhold their salaries if they failed to pass a balanced budget by the midnight deadline.
This year, the Legislature also had the help of a proposition that allowed them to pass the budget by a simple majority. But they still needed a two-thirds majority to approve the election to extend the temporary taxes.
Last year, the budget was 100 days late.