ALAMEDA, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown has extended the state of fiscal emergency declared by his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“This proclamation underscores the need for immediate legislative action to address California’s massive budget deficit,” Brown’s office said in a statement late Thursday when the proclamation was issued.
Schwarzenegger proclaimed the fiscal emergency Dec. 6, saying the state’s current-year budget had become billions of dollars out of balance. The proclamation gave lawmakers 45 days to act on the budget, otherwise they would be prohibited from adopting other legislation, or adjourning their regular session.
Brown’s action resets the clock and establishes a new 45-day deadline.
The new deadline fits the implied deadlines set by the governor when he proposed his own fiscal 2012 budget this month. Brown’s proposal includes a mix of program cuts and tax extensions that voters would have to approve in a special election.
Brown wants that special election held before the end of June, which would require lawmakers to act by March.
It is far from clear that the Legislature will cooperate.
“In our opinion, the California budget as proposed is financially achievable, but it may not be politically viable,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch municipal strategist John Hallacy wrote Friday in his firm’s weekly municipal market commentary. “Gov. Brown’s budget strategy stands out in a political environment within which tax increases have been anathema to the prevailing mood of the electorate.”
Brown acknowledged the challenges Wednesday in a speech to the League of California Cities conference, where he faced a group skeptical of his budget proposal to eliminate redevelopment.
“We’re not there yet; we haven’t got the votes on the budget,” he said during a question-and-answer session.
“You might win on redevelopment and then we’d have to take something else away, and then maybe the wheels will come off,” Brown said. “We don’t know exactly how this will unfold.”