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Ranking Republican dismisses Brown's jobs plan

August 25, 2011 | 11:02 am

Jerry-brown-reportersEven before Gov. Jerry Brown formally announced his new jobs package Thursday morning, a ranking Republican budget committee member dismissed it as "window dressing."

At an 11 a.m. Sacramento press conference, Brown is expected to call for returning California's corporate tax structure to its 2009 form, which would effectively raise levies on large companies that make their goods out of state but sell them here.

The proposal was part of Brown's ill-fated budget plan that was rejected by Republicans. This time the governor is pitching it as a jobs-creation measure -- the $1 billion in savings would go toward tax cuts for businesses that hire Californians. The bill would have to pass by the end of the legislative session on Sept. 9.

Because it changes state taxes, the governor would need to win a two-thirds majority for the proposal to become law, which means he needs GOP help. But State Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, was skeptical Brown would get any support from his side of the aisle.

"In some ways, this is window dressing," Huff said. "It takes money from one set of businesses and redistributes it to another set of businesses."

Huff said he "absolutely" wanted to see the governor push a jobs agenda but that the last-minute attempt to change corporate taxes is a reflection of his inability to win GOP backing for his budget.

Brown has been under fire recently for not acting aggressively enough to bring down the state's 12% unemployment rate. He was upstaged last month by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who unveiled his own jobs package.

The governor has noted that he has few tools to affect the economy and that most of the power lies with the federal government. Still, last week he appointed a retired Bank of America executive as his senior advisor on jobs. His action in Sacramento shows that he recognizes the political importance of trying to fix California's broken economy.

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-- Anthony York

Photo: California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to the media in Fresno, on Wednesday. Credit: Associated Press / The Fresno Bee, Eric Paul Zamora

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