Thursday, September 22, 2011

LA Times: Governor talks about shark fins, taxes and other bills before him

Jerry Brown talks shark fins, taxes in Sacramento

by Anthony York in Sacramento
The Los Angeles Times
September 21, 2011 | 12:03 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown promised a series of bill signings and vetoes Tuesday, bemoaning “a legislative machine that is running out of control” as he works through hundreds of bills on his desk.

Brown has until Oct. 9 to sign or veto the nearly 600 measures passed in the final weeks of the legislative session. And the lobbying is coming from all corners.

“I got a call from Richard Branson yesterday from Australia,” he told reporters Tuesday. “He’s worried about shark fins. He believes that the sharks are endangered. He’s been all over the world and he sees that as a real problem.”

When asked what he thought about the proposed ban on shark fin soup that is awaiting action from Brown, he said, “I embody my thoughts in very succinct messages that you will be getting many of very shortly.”

He alluded to a new Field Poll that shows bipartisan support for a bill that would prohibit ballot measures from appearing on primary ballots, a measure Republicans in Sacramento vehemently oppose.

“I think they’re a little out of touch with their own members because I noticed the Republicans seem to want that,” he said, referring to the poll results. “So maybe I should just flaunt the will of the majority of Republicans, independents, Democrats.”

He said he is working with labor groups and others on a tax package for the November ballot, but there is still no consensus about which taxes to ask voters to raise. But he said he supported President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the highest income earners.

“I think everyone has to sacrifice to get this country back on track. Everyone. But I think those with the biggest belts have to pull them the most.”

Still, Brown was coy about what a final set of initiatives might look like.

“It’ll come together,” he said, “but we’ve got a few months before we’ve got to nail it down.”

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