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ha_gov48083.JPGGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today denounced Proposition 25, which would lower the legislative vote margin for state budgets from two-thirds to a simple majority, and declared that it's a back-door attempt to make it easier to raise taxes.

Schwarzenegger,speaking to a business group in Goleta, responded "absolutely no" when asked about his position on the measure, placed on the ballot by Democrats and unions.

He then added, "I believe this is also ... a majority vote for tax increases."

With that comment, Schwarzenegger echoed arguments of Proposition 25 opponents in the business community that the measure's wording could allow tax increase measures that implement a budget to also be passed with a simple-majority vote.

However, opponents lost when an appeals court recently declared that a ballot summary statement declaring that Proposition 25 "retains two-thirds vote requirement for taxes" is accurate and would remain.

The two-thirds vote on budgets has been in the state constitution for decades but the two-thirds vote on tax increases was adopted by voters in 1978 as part of Proposition 13. A few years ago, voters rejected a measure that would have repealed both two-thirds votes.

PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves Senate Republican leader Dennis Hollingsworth's office at the state Capitol on July 9 after a meeting to discuss the state budget. Hector Amezcua/ Sacramento Bee



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