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Brown courts legislators on ‘goodwill’ tour

Those predicting that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s austere budget plan, which shreds many programs for the needy that Democrats hold sacrosanct, would sour his relationship with lawmakers of his own party must wait at least another day.

Brown emerged from an hourlong meeting about the budget with Assembly Democrats to raucous applause that resonated in the Capitol corridors Tuesday.

It was one of four private sessions Brown had scheduled Tuesday with Republican and Democratic legislators to build support for his budget plan. The governor’s toughest sell is expected to be with Republicans, as his budget package includes extending tax hikes on Californians’ vehicles, purchases and incomes –- a proposal anathema to the GOP.

He spent an hour answering Assembly Republican legislators’ questions Tuesday, about twice as long as scheduled.

“I think he’s building goodwill,” said Republican Assemblyman Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga.

Brown called the confab “very constructive.”

“A lot of exchange of ideas,” the governor said. “There are obviously differences.”

Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway of Tulare said legislators tackled their disagreements with Brown with humor.

“It was cordial. It was conversational. I don’t think anyone changed their mind about raising taxes,” she said. “That part stayed the same, even if it was a good conversation.”

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

 
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