SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Cut spending and raise taxes, and do it all on a very short timeline. That’s what state lawmakers were told Thursday that they must do to bring California’s financial house back into order on the first day of budget hearings at the state capitol.

Assembly Budget Committee chair Bob Blumenfield believes that on balance, Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to close the $25 billion deficit makes sense.

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KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“It’s half and half, it’s sort of Solomonesque in the sense that half of it is coming from revenues and half of it is coming from cuts,” said Blumenfield.

He said that it will take an unprecedented legislative pace, and will require two-thirds support, to pass the package by March so that voters can consider it in June.

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Michael Cohen, the governor’s new deputy finance director, says Democrats will have to accept cuts, and Republicans, tax extensions that they won’t like.

“To try to tackle a budget problem of this magnitude by not looking at both sides and using both of those sides freely, just doesn’t get you there in terms of the math,” said Blumenfield.

Legislative analyst Mac Taylor told Republicans they can modify the governor’s revenue-raising ideas, and he told Democrats that they need to bite the bullet on cutting social programs.

“Many of them are proposals that you have seen before and rejected, so it’s going to be very difficult for you, but I think you’re going to have to reconsider some of those proposals,” said Taylor.

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