A top adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown suggested Wednesday the governor would veto legislative tax proposals that do not require voter approval, but the California Teachers Association remains steadfast in its belief that lawmakers should pass taxes without going to the ballot.
Brown aide Steve Glazer posted on Twitter this morning that if there's two-thirds legislative support for taxes, "there's 2/3 to override Gov veto."
California Teachers Association President David Sanchez said later that the Education Coalition, which includes a variety of school organizations, still does not believe taxes should be settled at the ballot. Sanchez first made this point two weeks ago, and CTA launched a statewide ad last week urging lawmakers to solve the budget without further cuts.
Sanchez emphasized that a fall election would be a disaster for school districts because they need confidence in their 2011-12 funding level before the school year begins. He again said it would be difficult to persuade voters to pass taxes in September.
Contrary to the position taken by Brown, Sanchez posited that it would be easier to persuade Republicans to pass taxes in the Capitol outright because they'd only have to make a tough vote once this year rather than deal with more cuts should voters reject taxes.
"If you extend taxes by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, it's done and over with," Sanchez said.
Brown's special election remains popular among voters even after his first attempt to call one in June fell short. A Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll last week showed that 60 percent of voters support having an election, though fewer voters -- 52 percent -- support the higher tax rates Brown has proposed for the ballot.
One idea under consideration is for the Legislature to maintain higher tax rates past June and then call a special election in September in which voters consider whether to extend them further.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Wednesday at the Sacramento Press Club he is supportive of bypassing an election to get more tax revenues. But he added that arguing about the mechanism to increase taxes was of lesser importance than getting at least two Republicans in each house to support them, one way or another.
"I'm not looking to distance myself from the governor," Steinberg said. "If we can get the revenue and make an agreement with the Republicans without an election, of course that would save the schools and it would save the universities and it would save the police services. But let's get an agreement first with the Republicans."
Torey Van Oot contributed to this report.