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State Sheriff’s Association Endorses Tax Proposal

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(Associated Press) Governor Jerry Brown collected an endorsement for his tax initiative proposal from the California State Sheriffs’ Association.

Brown was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

The law enforcement group voted “overwhelmingly” to support the proposal at its annual meeting in San Diego, said its president and Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin.

“We believe that the governor’s initiative strikes the proper balance for schools and public safety,” Pazin said at a news conference to announce the endorsement.

Brown is trying to rally support for his initiative after merging his tax proposal with a rival plan that sought to raise income taxes on millionaires. Brown’s initiative would raise the state’s sales tax by a quarter cent for five years and raise income taxes on a sliding scale for seven years on incomes over $250,000 a year. The measure could bring in between $6.8 billion and $9 billion to help plug the state budget deficit in fiscal year 2012-2013.

The Democratic governor previously shifted corrections, law enforcement and other services to cities and counties, and he has promised law enforcement officials that he would provide a constitutional funding guarantee to pay for it. Pazin said that guarantee stood out for sheriffs.

Brown’s tax plan would dedicate money each year to local municipalities to pay for the realignment, especially his plan to send lower-level offenders to county jail instead of prisons. It also would direct more money to public schools and has support from California’s largest teachers’ unions.

“To make realignment work-which is the most far-reaching change in our criminal justice system in decades-we need the money,” Brown said.

Brown’s plan still faces competition from a rival tax initiative by wealthy Los Angeles attorney Molly Munger. Her initiative would raise income taxes on nearly all Californians on a sliding scale and give as much as $10 billion a year directly to schools.

Both measures are still collecting the more than 1 million signatures they will need.

The sheriff’s association endorsed Brown’s previous tax proposal in February.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.