The governor is still negotiating with Republican lawmakers, reports the Sacramento Bee, citing a source, but a November vote might be his best bet, especially given his solid approval ratings and the apparent willingness by Californians to go along with a tax-and-cut budget plan. The legislature has approved the budget cutting portion (roughly half the shortfall), but putting tax extensions on the June ballot would require a two-thirds vote - and that won't happen without a few Republicans on board. So far, there's little indication that anyone is crossing over. Waiting until November allows Brown to bypass those pesky Republicans, but it presents some logistical problems, not the least of which is a still-huge deficit to deal with between now and then. How do you sign off on a budget that's not balanced? And of course voters would have to approve the tax increases, which is certainly no sure thing.
Brown believes business groups are more likely to support a ballot initiative than any maneuver for a majority vote in the Legislature, the source said, and thinks business groups fear a majority tax vote may set a precedent for other taxes. The source said a ballot initiative would likely include some concessions to conservative interests. Among those being considered are regulatory reform and a spending cap.
A decision could be announced as early as this week.