Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged today that he does not expect to win over all five Republican senators with whom he has been in budget talks, suggesting he believes the splinter group is not a bloc.
"I talk to different ones at different times," Brown said before addressing the Chief Probation Officers of California at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. "It's pretty clear we're not going to get all of the five votes."
The so-called "GOP 5" was sure acting like it last week, issuing joint statements and open letters. Their negotiation with Brown appeared to drop off Monday, and Brown, who cited progress in negotiations when he asked the Legislature to delay a floor vote, said today that he would welcome a vote.
The Democratic governor is proposing a mix of cuts and tax extensions to erase a $26.6 billion deficit. He needs at least two Republican votes in each house to ask voters to extend taxes.
Republican Sens. Tom Berryhill of Oakdale, Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo, Anthony Cannella of Ceres, Bill Emmerson of Hemet and Tom Harman of Huntington Beach have demanded pension, regulatory and other changes, and Brown previously said he was working on a pension proposal. He declined again today to say what it includes.
"A lot," he said. "I'm not going to go over each of the proposals, but we will curb pension spending going forward, if they'll let us."