Brown's veto leaves budget answer far from certain

By ROBIN HINDERY | June 17, 2011 | 4:56 PM EDT

California Gov. Jerry Brown is shown during a news conference Thursday June 16, 2011, in Los Angeles. The Democratic governor said he had a number of concerns about the budget package passed Wednesday by majority Democrats to close California's remaining $9.6 billion deficit. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown's warning several months ago that budget negotiations could turn California into a battleground seems to be coming true.

The Democratic governor angered his party this week by vetoing its spending plan, then put Republicans on the defensive by blaming them for the fiscal impasse.

Now Brown faces what one expert describes as "trench warfare" as he attempts to guide lawmakers toward a solution to close the state's $9.6 billion deficit.

Brown says he remains committed to extending a series of tax increases set to expire June 30.

But six months of negotiations with Republicans have failed to produce the four GOP votes needed to put the tax question on a special election ballot. And Democrats say Brown's alternative scenario — an all-cuts budget — is a nonstarter.