By Jim Sanders
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 – 7:42 am
Gov. Jerry Brown is proving not to be a yes man – even to unions that spent millions to elect him.
The governor drew heat Sunday by killing three key labor-backed bills, including one by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, on the final day for deciding the fate of measures passed by the Legislature this year.
Pérez’s proposal would have doubled the statute of limitations, to nine years, for families of police or firefighters to file for death benefits stemming from an illness or injury deemed job-related.
The two other Democrat-crafted measures would have provided overtime, rest, meal and other job-related protections for domestic workers, and made it a crime for farmers not to provide their farmworkers with adequate shade and water.
United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, angry at Brown’s veto of the farmworkers bill, took a verbal slap Monday at the leader who championed his union’s cause as governor three decades ago by signing a historic farm labor relations law.
“The UFW is appalled at the governor’s decision to deny farm workers the basic legal tools to protect themselves from employers who intentionally put their lives at risk by refusing to provide them with adequate water and shade,” he said in a written statement.
Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, said that Brown’s vetoes of legislation by powerful allies shows that “even if he’s your friend, he’s never your friend 100 percent of the time.”
“Overall, he’s been strongly pro-union, but strongly doesn’t mean uniformly,” Pitney said. “(Sometimes) it’s Jerry Brown showing that he’s Jerry Brown and doesn’t fit neatly into any category.”
Larry Gerston, a government professor at San Jose State University, said that Brown’s moderation in bill signings points to a much larger goal: passing Proposition 30, his multibillion-dollar tax hike, in November.
“You have to look at this in the broader picture – it’s just a bill here and a bill there,” Gerston said. “Nothing is more important to Jerry Brown than Proposition 30. He doesn’t want to give business any fodder, any reason, to support a ‘No on 30′ campaign.”
To read entire story, click here.