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Gov. Brown visits LA, touts state budget plan

February 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday made his first public appearance in the Los Angeles area since he was sworn in.

The governor was in town to sell his state budget rescue plan to Southland business leaders.

"I don't want a one-party plan, I want a California plan," Brown told those in attendance.

Brown needs Republican help to put an extension of tax increases and cuts on the ballot. That would help solve nearly half the state's massive deficit. There could be severe cuts of up to 30 percent in state programs without them.

"I'm asking Republicans not to raise one penny, but give the people the right to vote on some tax extension," Brown said.

Education welfare programs and other social programs could be decimated without some workable solution.

Republicans and some Democrats want concessions before they ask voters to continue the tax increases.

Without a positive vote, the increases end in June.

Concessions could include some sort of pension reform, regulatory reform or a spending cap.

"I'll look at any constructive suggestions," Brown said. "The more you add to the problem, the more difficult it is to get people to vote for it."

But first the governor has to get enough Republicans on his side to get the tax increases to the voters.

Brown wants half extensions and half cuts to balance the budget.

And assembly Republican leader Connie Conway says if its only taxes with no concessions, it's not going to happen.

The governor has his own interpretation of the Republican position.

"I know the leadership is saying no, not an absolute no," Brown said.