Wednesday Must Read: Brown and GOP at Budget Impasse; Huge Snowpack Could Cause Flooding

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. With the state’s budget deadline fast approaching, Governor Jerry Brown and GOP lawmakers remain at loggerheads over whether to extend several tax hikes until a special election in September, the SacBee reports. Brown has been trying to convince a handful of moderate Republicans to agree to vote for the tax extensions until voters weigh-in, but has failed to convince any of them. If Republicans continue to refuse, it likely will result in $10 billion in more cuts, including severe cuts to K-12 education.

Brown
  • Brown
2. Brown and Democratic leaders, meanwhile, are attempting use the recent US Supreme Court decision that requires California to release 30,000 state prison inmates as a reason for why Republicans should go along with the tax extensions. The Chron reports that Brown wants to transfer thousands of prison inmates to county jails — a move that would satisfy the Supreme Court ruling — but says he needs the tax measures to pay for it. Without the tax measures, Brown’s administration is warning that it may have to release the state prisoners outright, an action that would upset law-and-order Republicans.

3. The Sierra snowpack is the deepest ever recorded for this late in the year, and some hydrologists are warning that a warm, dry spell could melt the snow all at once and cause widespread flooding throughout the Central Valley, the Chron reports. The snowpack has been slow to melt because of recent storms and cool weather.

4. The environmental group, Alameda Creek Alliance, has sued Caltrans to stop the Niles Canyon widening project, alleging that the agency’s decision to cut down hundreds of trees will ruin Alameda Creek’s wildlife habitats, the Chron reports.

5. Richmond voters soundly rejected a sales tax measure last night that would have mostly benefitted West Contra Costa schools. The CoCo Times reports that 57 percent of voters went against the tax hike, which would have increased Richmond’ sales tax to 10.25 percent — the highest in the East Bay.

6. And the Sacramento City Council voted to lay off eighty police officers last night after the police union refused to make concessions, the SacBee reports.

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