Photo: Jerry Brown at State of State address

The Assembly and the Senate have scheduled votes today on Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, but a key element of the governor’s plan — a special election on temporary tax extensions — currently has about as much chance of gaining critical GOP votes as PG&E does of successfully marketing SmartMeter charm bracelets.

From John Myers, KQED’s Sacramento Bureau Chief:

While most Republicans are stridently opposed to a lynchpin element of Brown’s plan — a special election for voters to consider extending $11 billion in taxes — a handful of GOP lawmakers have been angling privately for a deal that trades a statewide election for GOP desires on government spending, regulations, and public employee pensions.

The eponymous ‘GOP 5’ admitted their existence by declaring said talks an impasse, then seemed to hint talks were still going, then apparently went their separate ways on talks as of Monday, then announced this afternoon that they “remain united as a team” in their demands.

All of which means that the budget proposal to send the tax extensions to a statewide ballot is D.O.A. when it comes up for debate in the Legislature Wednesday afternoon. That’s not necessarily the end of the story, but the chapter we can expect to see tomorrow.

Still, Brown may have gotten a boost with the release of a new Field Poll that shows 61% of the public in favor of putting the tax extensions on the ballot, and 58% support for the plan itself.

KQED newscaster Joshua Johnson talked this morning to poll director Mark DiCamillo about the results and about what degree of opportunity they present for Brown. Among the points DiCamillo made:

  • Independents are almost as supportive of Brown’s proposal as Democrats.
  • If the special election were held today, the proposal would pass. But whether the Yes side could withstand a well-organized No campaign is an open question, as voters are more easly swayed toward rejecting a proposition than supporting it.
  • Despite a good margin of support for tax extensions, a majority is not in favor of any new taxes that may be proposed.

Listen to the interview:

Mark DiCamillo on the latest Field Poll[audio:]

And read the Field Poll here.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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