Dan Walters: Jerry Brown on a big roll

By Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown's second governorship got off to a rocky start as he squabbled with both Republicans and his fellow Democrats over the state budget's deficit and finally resorted to fiscal sleight of hand to balance it on paper.

For the last year, however, Brown has been on a roll. He persuaded voters to raise taxes to close the deficit with new taxes, and as the extra money rolled in, Brown forced Democratic legislators to curb their expansionist tendencies in favor of paying down debt and building reserves.

This year, the Legislature adopted his landmark overhaul of school finance, aimed at spending more money on schools with large numbers of poor and/or English learner students, following on a so-called realignment of state and county responsibilities that diverted thousands of low-level felons into county jails and supervision to reduce overcrowding in state prisons.

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Ex-governors join Gov. Jerry Brown in fighting inmate releases

By Chris Megerian, The Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown is getting some help from four previous California governors as he fights to block the release of inmates from the state's crowded prisons.

The governors — Republicans Pete Wilson, George Deukmejian and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Gray Davis — filed a brief on Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of bolstering Brown's case.

A panel of three federal judges have ordered the state to release more than 9,500 inmates by the end of the year to meet a court-ordered target for reducing prison crowding. Brown wants the U.S. Supreme Court to block the order while justices consider his appeal.

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Gov. Brown jetting off to Ireland, Germany for two-week vacation

By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday jets off to Ireland and Germany for a two week summer vacation.

Brown said he plans to meet with the Irish prime minister and German government officials while there, but hopes to spend most of his time as a tourist and reconnecting with his family roots. Two of Brown’s great-grandfathers emigrated from the countries, and he still has relatives in both.

He will be staying on the same farm in Tipperary, Ireland, where his relatives once found shelter in a "little mud hut," and also visit cousins in Germany, include one who owns a little pub.

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Janet Napolitano brings 'outsider's mind' to UC, says Jerry Brown

By Kate Mather and Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown welcomed U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to her new post as president of the University of California system, saying "it will be exciting to work with her."

The Times reported Friday that Napolitano, also the former governor of Arizona, was selected by a committee of UC regents to become the first woman to head the 10-campus system in its 145-year history. She announced Friday morning that she would leave President Obama's Cabinet to take the post.

"Secretary Napolitano has the strength of character and an outsider's mind that will well serve the students and faculty," Brown said in a brief statement Friday morning.

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Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills to revamp economic development

By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed into law new measures aimed at revamping the state's incentives for economic development.

The new legislation includes hiring credits for companies in areas blighted with the highest jobless rates, a sales tax exemption on tools for manufacturing and research and development equipment for biotech firms, and tax incentives for companies that create jobs and pay the highest wages.

"I am very glad we are taking money and pushing it in the direction of creative intelligence,” Brown said  Thursday in San Diego. This state is going to thrive not by the lowest-paid jobs but by those that require a lot of intellectual addition, content, skill."

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Jerry Brown: Counties must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

 By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown said county clerks must soon begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the issue Wednesday.

Brown has directed his Department of Public Health, which oversees marriage licenses, birth and death certificates and other such documents, to tell local officials the licenses should be issued as soon as a federal appeals court lifts a ruling that was temporarily making same-sex unions illegal.

The temporary ban is expected to be lifted now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a lower-court ruling which held that Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure prohibiting gay marriage, is unconstitutional.

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Jerry Brown's Political Reboot

By James Fallows, The Atlantic

In his reprise as governor, he's been as ruthlessly practical as he's been reflective, embracing his inner politician to restore the California dream.


One Friday morning this spring, I drove to Washington’s Dulles airport at dawn, to catch the first nonstop flight to San Francisco. When I got off the plane six hours later, the morning sun still slanting through the terminal windows, my cellphone began ringing practically as soon as I turned it on.

“Okay, you’re here!” the man on the other end of the call said, cheerily. I’d been trying to arrange a visit to his office for quite a while, and just the previous evening he’d let me know that if I got there in a hurry, he’d have time to talk the next day, as well as over the weekend. As I walked through the airport, he began reeling off turn-by-turn instructions for reaching his office in Oakland in my rental car. “You’ll take the Bay Bridge to the exit for the 580 East and the 24. But don’t go all the way to the 24! That would send you out to Concord. Take the 980 West until the exit for 27th Street, and then …”

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Jerry Brown: California's deficit is gone

By Wyatt Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle


Gov. Jerry Brown took office two years ago promising that he had the know-how and the fiscal prudence to guide the state out of its financial crisis, and on Thursday he delivered a budget without a deficit.

It's the first time since 2007 that leaders at the Capitol haven't had a deficit to contend with and the first time since the late 1990s that the outlook over future years shows surpluses instead of deficits.

"This is new. This is a breakthrough," Brown told reporters at a news conference where he presented his spending plan for the 2013-14 year that begins July 1.

The governor promised discipline in spending - K-12 public schools and higher education received significant increases in funding - and in paying off the state's accrued debt.

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Social Network Privacy Bill Signed By California Governor Jerry Brown

Huff Post San Francisco 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a pair of privacy bills making it illegal for employers and colleges to demand access to social media accounts.

Brown announced on Thursday that he signed AB1844 by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, a Democrat from San Jose. The bill prohibits employers from demanding user names and passwords from employees and job applicants.

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Strong majority backs Jerry Brown's tax-hike initiative

By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times

California voters strongly support Gov. Jerry Brown's new proposal to increase the sales tax and raise levies on upper incomes to help raise money for schools and balance the state's budget, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they supported the governor's measure, which he hopes to place on the November ballot. It would hike the state sales tax by a quarter-cent per dollar for the next four years and create a graduated surcharge on incomes of more than $250,000 that would last seven years. A third of respondents opposed the measure.

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