Brown urges lawmakers to allow special election

February 1, 2011 9:33:10 AM PST
Gov. Jerry Brown is urging lawmakers to let California voters decide the direction of the state as it faces a gaping budget deficit, saying it would be "unconscionable" for them to block his request for a special election.

Brown gave the first State of the State speech of his new administration Monday, asking lawmakers to set aside their partisan differences for the good of California, which faces a $25.4 billion deficit.

He wants a ballot measure this June that would ask voters to extend temporary tax increases, but Republicans have said they will not allow it.

The Democratic governor noted the recent political upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt, saying the urge to vote had stirred the imagination of people there. He says lawmakers should not prevent Californians from exercising their own right to vote.