Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman acknowledged Tuesday that much of the deficit left behind when Jerry Brown vacated the Governor's Office was due to Proposition 13, but she said his reaction to the tax-limiting voter initiative should have been to cut spending.
Whitman's latest television ad blasts Brown for the deficit that faced lawmakers and new Gov. George Deukmejian when Brown left office in 1983.
Proposition 13, approved by voters in 1978, reduced local property tax revenues and led the state to take more financial responsibility for schools and other local services.
Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said the Democratic nominee used a surplus he helped build to help local agencies while implementing Proposition 13, ensuring they did not "suddenly lay off hundreds of police officers and firefighters and schoolteachers."
But Whitman said Brown should have cut the budget.
"When you're governor, if the people in California vote for Prop. 13 and you see that revenues are going to decline, then what is your obligation as the governor? Your obligation is to get the budget in line with what the people have asked to be done," Whitman told reporters at a campaign stop in Roseville.
"He did not manage the budgets, given what the people of California wanted."
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