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Gov. Brown warns of 'rough ride' with fresh legislative bills

September 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Governor Jerry Brown is putting state lawmakers on notice. Brown is considering hundreds of bills and Wednesday he threatened to use his veto power.

If the governor could veto the University of California tuition hikes, he probably would. But he has no control over that. He does have control over hundreds of bills and he says he's not afraid to reject them.

It could get more expensive to attend college in the University of California system.

UC leaders are about to ask the Board of Regents to approve more tuition hikes, anywhere from 8 to 16 percent each year, through 2016.

In just four years, UC tuition could top $22,000.

UC officials say the increases are necessary because state funding has fallen and they'd like to grow enrollment and pay bills.

Governor Jerry Brown thinks they should cut expenses to meet their needs.

"I hope that UC will take a closer look at how they're running their operation because they're always savings," said Brown. "We're cutting back a lot in state government. I think the university has got to do the same thing."

Known for his independent thinking, Brown also isn't happy about the 600 bills sitting on his desk, all sent to him in the final days of session last week.

The Oakland Democrat warned his party and his supporters his signature isn't guaranteed.

"I'm going to veto a lot of bills over the next 30 days," said Brown. "I have to say to some: 'Fasten your seat belt. It's going to be a rough ride.'"

The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) wants to make it harder to privatize public libraries, ban employers from doing credit checks on most applicants and allow voter registration online.

CALPIRG is crossing its fingers despite a stern warning from the governor.

"We don't know yet what he's going to do. The best we can do is what we always do: Work to get the public engaged and get them to weigh in with the governor," said CALPIRG Legislative Director Pedro Morillas. "I think the governor weighs that pretty heavily what the public thinks and what the public wants."

If Brown follows through on his veto threat, it would be a departure from his first tenure as governor, when he signed almost all the bills before him.

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