Prop.25 may actually help.
Dan Walters: Vote margin on taxes key factor
PUBLISHED WEDNESDAY, JAN. 12, 2011 in Sacramento Bee.
A key factor in Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to balance the state budget is whether he and fellow Democrats could do it by themselves, or whether the votes of at least a few Republican legislators would be required.
Politicians and stakeholders are consulting attorneys, but at the moment, no one appears to know for certain – in part because the sections of the state constitution involved have never been legally tested.
….Republicans who voted for the temporary taxes two years ago were hammered by anti-tax groups and radio talkers. So far, GOP leaders have shunned an election to extend them.
If that holds, Brown and his chief legislative partner, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, leave open the possibility of moving ahead without a supermajority vote.
"We'll look at every and any way we have at our disposal to save California," Steinberg says.
There are two potential pathways for placing taxes on the ballot in June with a simple majority legislative vote and Brown's signature.
One would be a section of the state constitution that allows the Legislature to propose amendments to previously approved statutory initiatives. In theory, therefore, the additional taxes could be framed as amendments to a previous tax measure, such as Steinberg's own Proposition 63, which imposed an income tax surcharge on the rich for mental health programs.
Under this theory, the amendment would be passed in the Legislature's special session on the budget and after a 90-day wait would be placed on a special election ballot.
The second potential pathway would be Proposition 25, enacted by voters last November. It reduces the legislative vote on budgets from two-thirds to a simple majority and also applies the lower vote margin to measures needed to implement the budget, called trailer bills in Capitol jargon.
While the constitution requires a two-thirds vote to enact new taxes directly, would Proposition 25 allow taxes to be placed before voters with a simple majority vote as a budget implementation measure?
Lawyers inside and outside of government are hurriedly seeking an answer. And since the legal picture is cloudy, were Democrats to move on their own, court battles would surely follow.
edited for space. Read the entire piece at the Sac Bee. here.http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/12/3317494/dan-walters-vote-margin-on-taxes.html
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