Budget crisis may be left to voters

January 19, 2009 8:00:48 PM PST
State Controller John Chaing is suggesting that voters may have to solve California's budget crisis at the ballot box.

Chaing says he favors putting a tax increase package on the ballot if lawmakers and the governor cannot reach an agreement on closing the state's estimated $42 billion deficit.

California is set to run out of cash next month and may have to offer IOU's for everything from tax refunds to contractor payments.

Legislative leaders and the governor have declined to say whether they would consider a ballot box proposal as a possible compromise.