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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation blessing the construction of a Ronald Reagan statue at the state Capitol, citing his "courage and unique leadership ability" while pointing out that the Republican icon oversaw tax increases - just as Brown would like to do.

"I am proud to sign Assembly Bill 2358 in honor of Ronald Reagan," the Democratic governor wrote in a signing statement. "I served as Secretary of State when he was Governor.

"Even in those days he demonstrated courage and unique leadership ability - even to the point of raising California taxes when he saw they were needed."

Brown is campaigning for a Nov. 6 ballot measure to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California's highest earners.

Assembly Bill 2358, by Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, authorizes planning for a Reagan statue at the Capitol. The statue honoring the former governor and president is to be built with private funds. The bill found no opposition in the Legislature.

Reagan and Brown have history. Reagan unseated Brown's father, Pat Brown, in the 1966 gubernatorial race.



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