Former GOP Officials Advise on Calif. Budget Deal

Friday, 11 Mar 2011 03:44 PM

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Former high-ranking Republican state officials are advising the group of five GOP lawmakers in California negotiating a budget deal with Gov. Jerry Brown, the Sacramento Bee reported Friday.

gop, advisors, budget, deal, brownMichael Genest, the former finance director for Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar, and Peter Schaafsma, a former fiscal aide to the Assembly Republican caucus are providing analysis to the “GOP 5,” as the negotiating lawmakers have dubbed themselves.

"They've given us tasks to perform, such as providing language and providing insight," Genest told the newspaper. "We're not making any decisions. They're asking us what their options are and how things work. We're technical advisers."

The “GOP 5” is operating outside the Republican Caucus, since most of it members are opposed to Brown’s pledge to extend a tax increase scheduled to expire.

The splinter group, however, is asking the governor for long-term changes, including a permanent cap on spending, pension reform, reduced regulations and tax changes. In exchange, the five would vote with Democrats to place the tax extensions on a June ballot.

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