Capitol Alert

Tax increase backers add reserve, per Jerry Brown demand

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2016-17 state budget at a news conference at the California State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2016-17 state budget at a news conference at the California State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. rbyer@sacbee.com

Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown criticized a ballot measure to extend temporary tax increases for containing the “fatal flaw” of circumventing California’s budget reserve requirements, proponents of the initiative said Tuesday that they have amended the proposal to address his complaint.

Education groups and other activists proposing to extend taxes approved in 2012 re-wrote their initiative to include deposits into a reserve account approved by voters in 2014.

Democratic strategist Gale Kaufman said in an email that her group made the changes “after listening to Gov. Brown’s concerns last week.”

The Democratic governor, who championed the Proposition 30 tax measure in 2012 has said repeatedly that higher taxes voters authorized that year should remain temporary. But when asked at a news conference last week if there was any tax extension he could support, he demurred.

“I’ve already said more about ballot measures than I’ve ever said before,” he said.

Securing Brown’s support or, at a minimum, his neutrality on a tax measure is significant to proponents of the effort. The fourth-term governor is not only relatively popular, but also holds about $24 million in his campaign war chest.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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