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Kai Ryssdal: Here in California, Governor Jerry Brown has jumped from the frying pan of a political campaign into the realities of our budget fire. The governor released his proposed budget this morning: $12 billion in spending cuts, all told. Low-income Californians are going to see a lot of cuts — welfare, social services and and health care for the poor will all be trimmed. The governor’s also going to ask voters to do something they’ve resisted for years — raise taxes.
Marketplace’s Jeff Tyler has more.
Jeff Tyler: In outlining his proposed cuts, Governor Brown didn’t do much to sugarcoat California’s budget mess.
Jerry Brown: What I propose will be painful. It’s going to take sacrifice from every sector of California.
Some state employees will see pay cut by 8 to 10 percent. If the cuts go through, they could have implications beyond California.
Scott Pattison: Other states are going to be very interested to see, is this successful in California on top of the cuts that have already taken place?
That’s Scott Pattison, executive director of The National Association of State Budget Officers. He says other states will also be closely watching California’s plan for a special election in June. Voters would be asked to approve a five-year extension of the state’s current income and sales taxes.
Pattison: If there are states like California that are successfully able to extend tax increases, or even add tax increases, that’s going to be of great interest to other states.
That may be a long shot. Robert Ward is deputy director of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Robert Ward: California is the clearest example of a state where voters want to have it both ways. They want to have high levels of spending, on education for example. But they also want to have low taxes.
It remains for Governor Brown to convince Californians that more taxes would be good for them. If Brown can pull that off, expect other states to follow his lead.
I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.
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