Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, declined to comment Thursday on a report in the Wall Street Journal that he and two other Republicans in Sacramento are trying to cut a deal with Gov. Jerry Brown to let voters decide on Brown’s tax extension proposal.
The Journal reported that a small group of Republican state senators may support the Democratic governor’s plan to ask voters for extended tax increases, in exchange for concessions.
The Journal attributed the information to “people familiar with the matter.”
The newspaper said that three GOP senators met with Brown on Monday.
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In addition to Blakeslee, it named Sen. Tom Berryhill, who represents part of the San Joaquin Valley, and Sen. Bill Emerson of Riverside County.
They are seeking changes to the public-pension system, a cap on state spending, changes to regulations that would be favorable to businesses and tax modifications, the Journal said.
Brown’s spokesman, Evan Westrup, also declined to give details or name participants of any specific talks.
“The governor has had an open-door policy since he introduced his budget and continues to meet with legislators on both sides of the aisle to reach a balanced and bipartisan budget plan,” Westrup told the Journal.
Brown has proposed balancing spending cuts with a temporary extension of recently enacted tax increases as the way to close California’s nearly $27 billion deficit.
Republicans so far have officially refused to support Brown’s budget plan.