(LA Times)– Citing the pro-democracy unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, Gov. Jerry Brown called it “unconscionable” that GOP legislators are vowing to block his attempt to ask voters to extend tax hikes to balance the budget.
“When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can’t say now is the time to block a vote of the people,” Brown said in his first State of the State address in nearly 30 years.
He said the budget has tough choices but that the people “have a right to vote” on the package.
He challenged both parties to take the difficult votes necessary to balance the budget.
“If you are a Democrat who doesn’t want to make budget reductions in programs you fought for and deeply believe in, I understand that,” he said. “If you are a Republican who has taken a stand against taxes, I understand where you are coming from. But this time things are different. In fact, the people are telling us — in their own way — they sense something is profoundly wrong. They see that their leaders are divided when they should be decisive and acting with clear purpose.”