Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning that he expects floor votes on the budget in the Legislature this week, after talks with Republican senators appeared Monday to lose steam.
Brown had asked Democratic legislative leaders last week to delay any vote, citing progress in negotiations with Republicans. Brown lacks the GOP votes necessary to ask voters to extend tax increases, a central part of his budget proposal.
The Democratic governor had been negotiating with a splinter group of five Republican senators, but he declined to say how many of those Republicans he still is contacting, if any.
"I'm talking with some people," he said while walking from the Capitol to the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, where he was addressing a group. "That's all I can say."
Brown, who huddled with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Perez this morning for less than an hour, said he expects budget votes in the Legislature this week, even if those votes only address spending reductions, one part of his budget.
"I think there are some Republicans who are very committed to doing something, but so far there's no, there's no agreement," he said. "We'll have some votes, though, sometime during the week, and then we'll see where we are."
Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said he will make an announcement today about when the Senate might vote on Brown's budget. He said it will be "very soon."
"We're going to get to our floor, begin the debate and keep coming back day after day," Steinberg said.
It was less clear what to expect on the Assembly side.
"Still moving forward," Perez said. "We're hopeful to have a resolution soon, but we'll see how conversations proceed."
Brown maintained he will not try to push his tax measure through the Legislature on a majority vote. He said he wants Republican support and that, "No matter how many times you ask me, I'm going to say the same thing."
Brown is proposing a mix of spending cuts and tax extensions to resolve a $26.6 billion deficit.
He criticized Republicans for failing to propose spending cuts they could support.
"Most of the time they want to spend more money, like redevelopment or this project or that project," Brown said. "Those who really want to cut the budget appear to be more in the Democratic majority than in the other party."