Podcast: Taxes, union power mark latest initiative wars

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This week, the next round of the California initiative wars was set into motion. Gov. Jerry Brown introduced his plan to hike income taxes on the wealthy and sales taxes across the board. A measure to limit the political clout of labor unions qualified for next year’s ballot. These measures are expected to highlight another multimillion-dollar fight at the ballot box next fall.

Brown’s tax plan is just one of a handful of similar proposals filed with the attorney general’s office. A group of liberal Democrats, led by the California Federation of Teachers, filed their own plan exclusively targeting upper-income earners.


As the governor prepares to introduce his budget in January, he will first try to convince other tax-initiative sponsors to abandon their plans and back his. Brown said this week that it was his job ‘to get everyone singing from the same page’ in the weeks ahead.

Times reporter Anthony York joins KQED’s John Myers and Marisa Lagos from the San Francisco Chronicle in KQED’s weekly Capital Notes podcast to discuss the latest batch of initiatives and what they mean for the political and policy fights ahead.

Listen to the podcast here.


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Photo Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times / MCT