Capitol Alert

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In search of business support for his budget cut and tax plan, Gov. Jerry Brown ventured last week to Los Angeles. He could end up finding some backing closer to the Capitol - from the Sacramento Metro Chamber.

In promoting its state Legislative Summit a week from today, the Chamber said today that it is "committed" to supporting Brown's proposal for a June ballot measure to extend tax increases on sales, income and vehicles -- if the Legislature also supports spending cuts to help close the estimated the $26.6 billion budget deficit.

That support comes with other big conditions, however. The Chamber wants business incentives, including continuing redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones - which Brown wants to abolish. It also wants the state to get rid of regulations that hurt business and to impose a moratorium on all new business regulations until California's unemployment rate, now 12.5 percent statewide, drops below 9 percent for three consecutive quarters.

The Chamber's statement on the state budget also includes a wide range of other reforms it would like to see on taxes, health care, education, water, transportation and air quality.

The Metro Chamber, with nearly 2,000 Sacramento-area members, has been somewhat more active in political affairs lately. Last year, it bucked many of its peers by opposing Proposition 16, the PG&E-funded initiative against public utilities, and by opposing Proposition 23, the ballot measure to suspend California's landmark global warming law.



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