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A group of Republican state lawmakers announced today the formation of a legislative Taxpayers Caucus, pledging to oppose Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to ask voters to extend increased tax rates set to expire unless commensurate tax cuts are also placed on the ballot.

Just over two-thirds of the Republican legislators -- 22 in Assembly and eight in the Senate -- have signed on to join the unofficial caucus, which organizers say is open to members of both parties.

The seven members who attended the press conference announcing the formation railed on existing regulations and tax rates they say are hurting California workers and businesses, arguing voters have already spoken on taxes by rejecting past tax increases on the ballot in recent elections.

Members who attended the news conference were adamant that they would not vote for the tax extensions -- which require the OK of two-thirds of lawmakers' to make it on the ballot -- without giving voters the option of tax cuts, even if proposals they support, including pension reforms or a spending limit, were on the table. They said they would be working to present ideas for job creation and economic recovery in the future.

The breakdown of which Republican members have and have not joined the caucus is posted after the jump and the letter outlining its positions is below. Click here for a video from the news conference. Check back soon for more on the caucus from Bee colleague Kevin Yamamura.

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Republicans who have joined the caucus:

Sen.Tony Strickland, (Co-Chairman)
Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner (Co-Chairman)
Sen. Joel Anderson
Sen. Jean Fuller
Sen. Ted Gaines
Sen. Doug LaMalfa
Sen. Sharon Runner
Sen. Mimi Walters
Sen. Mark Wyland
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher
Assemblyman Martin Garrick
Assemblyman Jeff Gorrell
Assemblywoman Shannon Grove
Assemblyman Kurt Hagman
Assemblywoman Linda Halderman
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey
Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries
Assemblyman Brian Jones
Assemblyman Steve Knight
Assemblyman Dan Logue
Assemblyman Mike Morrell
Assemblyman Allan Mansour
Assemblyman Jeff Miller
Assemblyman Brian Nestande
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen
Assemblyman Chris Norby
Assemblyman Jim Silva
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth
Assemblyman David Valadao

Republicans who have not signed on:

Senate GOP leader Bob Dutton*
Sen. Tom Berryhill
Sen. Sam Blakeslee
Sen. Anthony Cannella
Sen. Bill Emmerson
Sen. Tom Harman
Sen. Bob Huff
Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway*
Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian
Assemblyman Bill Berryhill
Assemblyman Paul Cook
Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen

* A spokeswoman for the effort said leaders were intentionally not asked to join the caucus.

UPDATE: A representative from Knight's office said the assemblyman signed the pledge yesterday and should have been on the original press release.



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