by William Bigalow
SACRAMENTO – On Wednesday, Gov.Â Jerry BrownÂ of California, unused to dealing with the minority GOP faction in his state house, asked for a special session of the legislature to consider hisÂ proposalÂ to create a rainy-day fund, the SacramentoÂ BeeÂ reports.
Brown must deal with the GOP because of the suspension of three Democrats that left him without the supermajority that ensured he could act unilaterally.
Brown still has some leverage; the GOP had a budget reserve measure ready, but public employee unions are dead-set against it.
Brown had criticized the GOP proposal because he said it didnâ€™t take into account the vicissitudes of capital gains revenue and didnâ€™t give lawmakers the power to pay down the stateâ€™s debt. He said of his own plan, â€œWe simply must prevent the massive deficits of the last decade, and we can only do that by paying down our debts and creating a solid Rainy Day Fund.â€
GOP leaders were reluctant to endorse Brownâ€™s plan when it was first announced in January, and on Wednesday their position remained unchanged.
Brownâ€™s plan would allocate $1.6 billion to the rainy-day fund and another $1.6 billion to pay down the stateâ€™s debt. He would also increase deposits when capital gains revenue rises, limit the fund to ten percent of general fund revenue, and add a special reserve for school funding.
Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College, told theÂ Bee:Â “If thereâ€™s any issue on which he can work with Republicans, itâ€™s this oneâ€¦ Republicans are pretty sure that heâ€™s going to be around for the next four years, so it might be a good idea to work with him.â€
The talks will begin before Brownâ€™s revised budget proposal in May.