Fair Swap: Ballot Initiative Veto for Added Revenue

SB 202, the controversial legislation to limit ballot initiatives to November general elections, is bad policy, for reasons this blog has explained previously.

But as a political matter, it could be an opportunity for Gov. Jerry Brown -- and for anyone who thinks that, after years of cutbacks, state government needs more revenues.

The bill is currently on Brown's desk, with the governor's decision expected later this week.

Republicans are up in arms about the legislation. They see it as a threat to the initiative process -- and to initiatives they support that would limit union power and that otherwise would show up on June's primary ballot.

The political question posed by those GOP objections is: how much do they hate this legislation?

More specifically, do Republicans oppose it enough that Brown might be able to get Republicans to agree to raise revenues in exchange for a veto?

My guess is that the answer to that question is probably no. No matter what they might oppose, Republicans hate revenue increases more than anything.

But at the same time, Brown won approval in the assembly, with a couple Republican votes, for a change in the corporate tax that he argued would bring more revenues in the state.

Maybe a veto here would buy a path for that bill through the senate.

And yes, this kind of horsetrading isn't pretty. But when dealing with a minority party that seeks to block all revenue increases, every bit of leverage should be exploited.

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @PropZero or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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