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Gov. Jerry Brown said this afternoon he is optimistic he can reach a budget deal with the Legislature by March 10, a date he said is close to his deadline to put tax extensions on the June ballot.

Brown said he is not yet certain what the absolute deadline to force a June election might be, but he said it is "very close" to March 10.

"I think we're within striking distance of getting something out of the Legislature that will give the people a chance to vote," Brown told reporters in the governor's conference room.

Brown, who ordered state agencies to stop buying coffee mugs, T-shirts and other trinkets earlier today, had a range of swag displayed on the table.

The Democratic governor is trying to close a $26.6 billion budget deficit through a mix of cuts and temporary tax increases. Republican lawmakers have said they will not provide the votes necessary for Brown to put tax extensions on the ballot.

Still, Brown was optimistic.

"The mood is reasonably positive," he said. "This is not what we're seeing in other parts of the country."

Brown said he has not yet received from Republicans a list of budget-related proposals he thought might come this week.

"I'm told it's coming," he said. "I'm waiting."


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