California governor says halts budget talks

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown said on Tuesday he has halted talks with Republican lawmakers over the key part of his state budget plan, a tax measure to raise revenue to help fill a deficit of nearly $27 billion.

The Democratic governor has been trying to convince Republicans in the legislature’s minority to support legislation to put a tax measure on the June ballot.

For their part, Republicans have urged Brown to support a spending cap and changes to the state’s pension system and regulations as a way to reach a possible compromise on a tax measure.

In a statement, Brown said that Republicans had included other demands in talks, complicating negotiations over a tax measure.

“Yesterday, I stopped the discussions that I had been conducting with various members of the Republican party regarding our state’s massive deficit,” Brown said.

Brown had aimed for voters to approve temporary tax extensions that expire this year to raise revenue to help close the state’s budget gap. Last week, he signed bills for roughly $11 billion in spending cuts and other moves.

Brown did not say what his next move for a tax measure might be.

(Reporting by Marianne Russ in Sacramento; additional reporting by Jim Christie in San Francisco; Editing by Gary Hill)

California governor says halts budget talks