Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 29, 2012

The California Teachers Association officially agreed Sunday to back Gov. Jerry Brown’s multibillion-dollar tax plan, which should provide the governor hefty financial support for his fall campaign.

The union represents 325,000 teachers and education workers, and it is a heavy hitter in state politics. Brown is gathering signatures for a November initiative to raise sales taxes by a half-cent and income taxes on high income earners. He has structured his budget so that schools would face a $2.4 billion program cut in 2012-13 if voters reject his proposal, which he says is equal to three weeks off the school year.

The Democratic governor now has support from the state’s two most powerful public employee unions in CTA and the Service Employees International Union State Council. SEIU has not made its support public, but CTA President Dean E. Vogel told his members on Saturday that “SEIU State Council has already taken a support position,” according to a text of his speech.

SEIU spokesman Michael Cox said Sunday his organization has not taken a public position. But sources besides Vogel confirmed SEIU has privately agreed to support Brown. The governor has been working for weeks to convince other tax proponents to step aside, knowing that voters are less inclined to support any tax plan if faced with multiple options.

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