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Breaking with convention, Jerry Brown tips his hand on two bills

Gov. Jerry Brown broke with convention this week, announcing his support for a minimum-wage increase and new regulations on oil extraction that are heading to his desk.

Typically Brown, like governors before him, refuses to tip his hand before announcing the signing or vetoing of a bill. His office routinely refuses to comment on pending legislation.

But his office released statements this week announcing the governor’s intention to sign two measures, one that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 and another that would create new regulations for oil companies that use hydraulic fracturing to extract oil.

Both bills were altered significantly in the closing days of the legislative session, with input from the governor’s office.

So why the departure?

“We were engaged in productive discussions and were interested in seeing both of those bills as amended,” said Brown spokesman Evan Westrup.

Brown’s office has been involved in other key legislation, including a measure expected to be voted on Thursday that would make changes to the California Environmental Quality Act by streamlining the environmental review process and limiting lawsuits for hundreds of mixed-use and commercial developments.

Although Westrup acknowledged that the governor’s office was involved in making significant last-minute changes the CEQA bill, he declined to say definitively that Brown would sign it.

“We won’t be commenting further on the bill at this time,” Westrup said.

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anthony.york@latimes.com

Twitter: @anthonyyorklat

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