Southern California breaking news and trends

Gov. Jerry Brown's veto rate is now 13%, Gov. Schwarzenegger's was twice that

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Then-Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown (R) speaks as then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (L) looks on during a discussion moderated by 'Today' show host Matt Lauer during the Women's Conference 2010 on October 26, 2010 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.

Gov. Jerry Brown memorably warned California lawmakers after returning for a third term in 2011 that they would soon be "playing the veto blues."

But an analysis of the two-year legislative session that ended Sunday reveals the Democratic governor has rejected just 13 percent of the 1,866 bills that crossed his desk.

That's the lowest veto rate of any governor since Brown first sat in the governor's office during his two terms in the 1970s and 80s. Brown's predecessor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, vetoed bills at twice that rate.

The Associated Press gathered the signing and veto statistics Tuesday from the California State Library and the secretary of the Senate after Brown completed his bill action this weekend.

Veto rates among California's governors had been creeping up until Brown returned to the governor's office in January 2011.


The big bets in Jerry Brown's budget

Califonria Budget

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Gov. Jerry Brown finishes signing the the last of of the budget related bills that had been passed by the Legislature earlier in the day, at his Capitol office in in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Brown put his signature on California's new $92 billion budget just hours ahead of a signing deadline.

The state budget, signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown, was crafted with a number of high-stakes assumptions, the L.A. Times points out today.

The future of wealth inheritance and estate tax in the country, for example, seems destined to cause a ripple that will either flood California shores with revenue, or drag the state through the sand of fiscal drought a while longer. 

The accuracy of Brown's crystal ball will be tested, and the potential consequences of potential forecast fails will play out in the uncertain future (AKA: Reply hazy). 

The Times reports that the Governor partially built the budget on the following big bets:

  • That current policy on federal estate tax will change.
  • That voters will approve $8 billion in higher taxes in November.
  • That Facebook will generate $1.9 billion in tax receipts.
  • That defunct redevelopment agencies will provide $900 million more than is currently being anticipated.


California's budget deficit rockets to $16 billion, says Gov. Brown

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

California Gov. Jerry Brown at the State Capitol in Sacramento in 2011.

California’s state budget deficit has jumped to a projected 16-billion dollars. That’s a 7-billion dollar increase from the start of the year. Governor Jerry Brown announced the news in a YouTube video ahead of Monday's release of his revised budget proposal.  

Said Brown, "This means we will have to go much farther and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year.  But we can't fill a hole of this magnitude with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools." 

Brown is urging voters to approve his tax initiative on the November ballot. He says the state’s shortfall grew from 9.2 billion dollars in January because the economy hasn’t recovered as quickly as the administration had hoped.



Jerry Brown cuts $30B in costs from high-speed rail project

Courtesy California High Speed Rail Authority

A rendering of what a high-speed rail train would look like traversing California's desert.

The price tag for California's ambitious high-speed rail project has dropped to $68.4 billion, a $30 billion decline over a highly criticized draft released last fall, a source familiar with the plan confirmed late Friday.

The first full section of track will now stretch from Merced to the San Fernando Valley, a significant expansion of the initial phase that eliminates the so-called "train to nowhere" between two small Central Valley cities.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority had scheduled a news conference for Monday to announce its updated business plan, but The Sacramento Bee reported some of the key details late Friday night.

A source familiar with the plan who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly confirmed the drop in price and relayed other elements of the updated plan to The Associated Press.