Politics

Brown vetoes childcare unionization bill, signs others

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

With only a few days left for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign or veto a stack of bills passed by legislators last month, he took action on quite a few controversial ones Tuesday.

It appears the governor is doing all he can to keep the state budget he signed in June balanced. In his latest actions, the Democrat vetoed a bill that would have allowed state-subsidized childcare providers to unionize. Critics had said wages would go up, and the governor agreed fearing the potential additional burden to taxpayers. Unions are upset.

"Eighty-thousand childcare providers needed this bill to improve their lives and the lives of the families they serve," said Michael Cox with the Service Employees International Union.

The governor also vetoed a bill that would have made more families in California eligible for welfare by removing car ownership when determining eligibility. The law currently says if you own a vehicle valued at more than $4,650, you cannot receive aid. Brown said since we don't know what next year's financial outlook is, the state shouldn't make changes that expand the program.

Advocates for the poor say welfare recipients need better cars to be able to go to work once they find a job.

"We really think this is a policy that actually is undermining people's attempts to move out of poverty and get off of assistance," said Mike Herald with the Western Center on Law and Poverty. "That's why we were big supporters of it and we were disappointed that it was vetoed."

The governor also acted to make sure the taxes that are due to the state get collected. He signed a bill that allows the state to suspend people's professional licenses and driver's licenses if they are on the Franchise Tax Board's and Board of Equalization's Top 500 tax cheats list. It could mean an additional $127 million to state coffers over five years.

"If your license gets revoked, it'll show on the list now whether or not your license is active or suspended," said Dan Tahara with the California Franchise Tax Board. "That could potentially be a negative aspect to your business if someone goes on there and sees that you're not an active licensee anymore."

Brown also signed a bill that closes a loophole that allowed business deductions in connection with insurance fraud. Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, says that should bring in half a million dollars a year.

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jerry brown, sacramento, bills, politics, nannette miranda
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