Politics & Government

Schwarzenegger rejects Democrats' budget proposals

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will not sign a package of bills Democrats sent him today to increase taxes and make program cuts, an $18 billion effort passed without Republican votes.

The governor said the package did not include provisions to stimulate the economy by loosening environmental standards, making more use of contractors on public projects and give him flexibility to furlough state workers without union intervention.

Republicans claimed the Democratic package was illegal because it raised $9.3 billion in taxes without a two-thirds vote. But Schwarzenegger did not criticize that approach.

The state Senate and Assembly made their way through the package of bills required for the maneuver, voting along party lines on tax increases while jointly backing other proposals to hasten public works spending. Republicans opposed the tax proposals and accused majority Democrats of breaking the law.

By adroitly stitching together proposals that lower some taxes and raise others, Democratic legislators contend the package is "revenue-neutral" and thus could be passed by a simple majority rather than the constitutionally required two-thirds vote for tax increases.

Read the full story at sacbee.com.