Jerry Brown on Saturday vetoed nine bills that would have provided new tax credits to benefit California lawmakers’ priorities, including low-income housing, energy efficient appliances, seismic retrofits, small businesses, food bank donations and hiring.
Brown reminded lawmakers that when he took office in 2011 the state faced a $26.6-billion budget deficit and estimated shortfalls of $20 billion and it has taken tough measures to turn around the state’s finances. He also said there are new budget issues on the horizon because lawmakers failed to deal with the expiration of a healthcare tax.
“Despite strong revenue performance over the past few years, the state’s budget has remained precariously balanced due to unexpected costs and the provision of new services,” Brown said in his veto message. “Now, without the extension of the managed care organization tax that I called for in special session, next year’s budget faces the prospect of over $1 billion in cuts.”
“Given these financial uncertainties, I cannot support providing additional tax credits that will make balancing the state’s budget even more difficult,” he added.
The bills rejected by the governor include one that was especially important for Los Angeles County because it would have provided a credit for seismic retrofitting of buildings not safe for earthquakes.
Among the bills vetoed were AB 437, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, which would have provided a grant for small business that had earned research and development credits but lacked the tax liability to use them. And AB 931 which would have expanded the definition of a qualified veteran for the New Employment Credit (NEC).