Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday he's against reducing the state's supermajority budget vote requirement to a majority threshold, essentially voicing his opposition to Proposition 25 on the November ballot.
The Republican governor spoke during a "budget roundtable" he convened at the offices of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. In response to a question on ballot initiatives, he first said taxes and fees should not be increased by a majority vote, a restriction the California Chamber of Commerce is attempting to strengthen in Proposition 26. He then said he's not only against approving taxes and fees on a majority-vote basis, but also a state budget.
"Even doing the budget, I even don't believe in doing the budget by a simple majority," Schwarzenegger said. "Because if you do a budget by simple majority, again, there is one party that will make all the decisions. I think it needs the input of both of the parties because you can see the first thing (Democrats) did was come up with borrowing or a tax increase."
Schwarzenegger said he would wait until after he signs the budget to unveil his positions on ballot initiatives. But his comments suggest he opposes Proposition 25 and supports Proposition 26. He also has been vocal in his opposition to Proposition 23, which would suspend the state's 2006 law restricting greenhouse-gas emissions in California.
The governor played to the business crowd, asserting that the state should pursue more tax credits and incentives for companies. He suggested he would seek to expand credits for the film industry.
The governor also said he wants to pursue "tort reform" and particularly cited cases in which parties sue to block construction projects because of environmental review requirements. That issue has emerged as an annual budget negotiating point for Republicans.
Update (11:40 a.m.): Of the governor's comments, Proposition 25 consultant Gale Kaufman responded that the two-thirds vote requirement "isn't working for him, the last time I checked. For him to say Proposition 25 doesn't work when he can't get a budget done on time is absolutely crazy. This is a simple reform, a simple answer, and someone has to take charge of getting this budget done on time."