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Senate GOP Leader on Gov. Brown, Budget, Pensions and More

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
When he took over as the Republican leader in the California State Senate this month, Bob Huff said the transition from the previous minority leader would be "more like a baton handed off" - and that there wouldn't be many changes.  But unlike his predecessor, Huff took part in last year's budget talks with Governor Jerry Brown.
Click the "listen" button above to hear Ben's interview with Sen. Huff.
Huff represents parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
Budget and Taxes

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In an interview with Capital Public Radio, Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff said he's not a fan of the governor's tax proposal - but he doesn't object to planning budget cuts ahead of time in case the tax fails at the polls. 

Huff: "I think it is fair to say, this is how I would cut.  Just understand that Republicans disagree with how - if we were the majority party, you would see a different priority in government - what you would fund, what you would cut."

He says Senate Republicans would rather focus on a program's "performance" and make each program justify its existence to keep its funding. 

Huff also says he doesn't support keeping the $11 billion water bond on the November ballot in its current form.  Instead, he wants to pare it down or push it back to a future election.


Evaluating Governor Brown


Huff says Californians are still waiting for Jerry Brown to show some accomplishments after Brown's first year back in the governor's office.

Huff: "He has been engaged, but I don't think we've seen results.  I think that's frustrated him.  I think it frustrated the people that elected him to office.  He has a great opportunity to do good things.  This year is going to be pivotal to him.  Again, as Republican leader, I hope to work with him on that, so I don't want to slam him, although I think there's plenty of things I could."

Huff says he doesn't agree with the governor's proposed tax initiative.  But the senator does think it's fair to publicly lay out mid-year trigger cuts if the tax measure fails at the polls.

Huff also says he believes his caucus would provide the votes to help pass Brown's 12-point pension overhaul - and that Brown's plan would fix "most of the problems" with the state's current pension system.

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