For weeks, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has unsuccessfully lobbied lawmakers for his budget.
In a new YouTube video, Brown is now asking California voters to put the pressure directly on legislators.
The state has a massive budget gap of about $26.5 billion. Lawmakers have covered about half of that, mostly by agreeing to cut services for the poor.
"The cuts targeted welfare recipients, poor families in need of health care for their children, the disabled and college students and their families," according to San Jose Mercury News.
Brown wants cover the rest of the budget largely through temporary extensions of sales and vehicle taxes.
Since Republicans haven't been willing to come to the table, Brown now wants a special election so voters can decide between tax extensions and what he called "painful cuts."
"This is a matter that's too big, too irreversible, to leave just to those whom you've elected," he said in his first ever video as governor.
"This is a matter of we the people taking charge and voting on the most fundamental matters that affect all of our lives," he added. "So, let me know, let your legislators know, would you like the chance to cast this vote, or would you feel it's appropriate to shut out the people of California?"
The Los Angeles Times has noted that the window to hold a June 7 special election on tax extensions may have already passed.
"I can tell you the longer lawmakers wait, the greater the risk will be to voter turnout and voter disenfranchisement," Shannan Velayas, a spokeswoman for California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, told the paper.
This video is from Gov. Jerry Brown, uploaded March 20, 2011.