Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown vetoes tax credit bills, warns of budget cuts

President Barack Obama, right, is greeted on the tarmac by California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, left, at San Francisco International Airport, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 ,in San Francisco.
President Barack Obama, right, is greeted on the tarmac by California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, left, at San Francisco International Airport, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 ,in San Francisco. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown, warning of a “precariously balanced” state budget and the prospect of more than $1 billion in spending cuts next year, on Saturday vetoed a slate of bills to create new tax credits or expand existing ones.

The vetoes followed the Legislature’s failure to renew and expand a tax on managed-care organizations that helps pay for healthcare for the poor, a top goal of Brown’s when he called lawmakers into a special session on healthcare in June.

In a message attached to his veto of nine bills, Brown said that “without the extension of the managed care organization tax that I called for in a special session, next year’s budget faces the prospect of over $1 billion in cuts.

“Given these financial uncertainties, I cannot support providing additional tax credits that will make balancing the state’s budget even more difficult.”

Despite strong revenue performance over the past few years, the state’s budget has remained precariously balanced due to unexpected costs and the provision of new services.

Gov. Jerry Brown

Brown, a relatively moderate Democrat, has tussled with more liberal forces in the Legislature for years over spending amid the state’s improving budget outlook.

But he has not always rejected tax credits.

Brown last year signed legislation to more than triple California’s film and television tax credit, and he signed an earned income tax credit this year for the state’s poorest families.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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