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Schwarzenegger won't agree to still more tax increases

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told Democratic legislative leaders Wednesday that he will not sign the budget plan adopted by a joint legislative committee.

"I cannot sign a budget that has tax increases in it," Schwarzenegger told the media after meeting with Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

The session came one day after the Legislature's joint budget conference committee, on a party-line vote, adopted a plan that included tax and cigarette taxes to help bridge a $24 billion budget gap.

Schwarzenegger noted that the state budget adopted in February called for a major tax increase - more than $12 billion - that he called the largest in state history.

"To now, four months later, come out with another tax increase is irresponsible," the Republican governor said.

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