Capitol Alert

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Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning he could pursue "some initiatives" if budget talks with Republican lawmakers fail.

Brown is considering a ballot measure to maintain higher tax rates if negotiations with Republicans are unsuccessful. He said this morning that there had been no progress since Wednesday.

"I came up here to tell the truth and do the best I can," Brown told reporters before speaking with members of the California State Association of Counties. "Under our law, a minority can block. And if they block there will be devastating cuts to our schools, our local police services and other things that people don't want. But that's just the way it is. And maybe over time we can correct it, I don't know how, maybe through some initiatives, whatever."

Brown again declined to say when is too late for a deal to put a tax extension measure on a June ballot, but he said, "We're getting close, and this could be a prolonged negotiation, in which case it won't work."

Asked about a Public Policy Institute of California poll that showed decreasing support for his plan for a June special election on taxes, Brown said he has seen other polls showing support.

"Is there mounting Republican resistance?" he said. "Yes, it's there. But if you look at independents, you look at decline to state, you look at moderate Republicans, there is a strong support for the right of the people to vote, and there is even stronger opposition to cutting universities, cutting schools, cutting police and cutting fire."


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