Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Support for Governor Brown's Proposal to Hold a Special Election in June Regarding State Budget


February 25, 2011 12:45 pm

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce announced today its endorsement of Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to hold a special election in June to address the state budget crisis with an equal combination of spending cuts and a temporary extension of the tax increases put into place two years ago.  

 “Governor Brown’s proposal to combine dramatic budget reductions with a temporary extension of higher rates on the state income tax, sales tax and the motor vehicles registration fee is fiscally responsible,” said L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. 

The other option the Chamber considered was to address the deficit through spending cuts only.  “We discussed this option at length, because it was our first choice, but we simply did not feel that the basic infrastructure of our state could be maintained if $25 billion in budget cuts were put into place at this time,” Toebben said.  “We know that extending the tax increases will have a short-term negative impact on our economy, but not as negative as the dramatic reduction in education, infrastructure and social services that would come from a $25 billion budget cut. 

The Chamber also discussed with Governor Brown its strong feelings about the need for reducing the State’s long term budget deficit through pension reform and regulatory reform with an emphasis on the California Environmental Quality Act known as CEQA.  Follow up meetings are planned in Sacramento with the Governor’s senior staff to work through the Chamber Executive Committee’s specific recommendations.

“In addition to balancing the budget today, California needs reforms that will have a positive and long-term impact on revenue and expenditures in the future,” said Joseph Czyzyk, chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and chairman & CEO of Mercury Air Group, Inc.   “We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor on these reforms, because we share the common goal of putting California on a path to fiscal stability and economic growth as soon as possible,” said Czyzyk, who is a lifelong Republican.

The Chamber is calling on both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to take a leadership role in working with the Governor to present a plan to the voters in June.  “Painful as these budget cuts and tax extensions may be, we need a bipartisan solution for the good of all Californians,” Toebben said.  “The voters will only endorse a budget that is void of smoke and mirrors and provides hope for the future.”

The Chamber’s Executive Committee of its Board of Directors voted to support the plan at its Feb. 17 meeting contingent on conversations with Gov. Brown which took place during the days the followed. 

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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region.  For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.


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