Brown hopes to win labor and business backing for future tax initiatives. But his actions on the union-backed bills could leave one - or both - sides disappointed.
Perhaps the Rolling Stones put it best…
Rolling Stones: "We're stuck between a rock … and a hard place …"
Brown's rock is labor - a cornerstone of any Democrat's power base and a vital funder for any tax measure on next year's ballot. His hard place is business - a traditionally Republican constituency that could give Brown political cover on a tax measure. And in the middle sits a stack of bills that labor dearly wants and business groups fear.
Maviglio: "If he wants both sides' support, he's going to have to walk that narrow line."
Democratic consultant Steve Maviglio says the governor knows he can't lean too far to either side. But, Maviglio warns, union members raised money and walked precincts for him.
Maviglio: "Jerry Brown has trademarked himself as a maverick and being independent. But this is a situation when he needs the unions and the unions need him. And there's a difference between being independent and being alone."
One bill in particular stands out. It would place all future ballot measures on the more Democratic-friendly November general election ballot - instead of the June primary. Aaron McLear was the press secretary for Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He says signing that bill risks alienating business groups.
McLear: "There are some things that the business community may not like too much, but they can live with. There are other things that are declarations of war, which is not gonna be helpful when he goes to the voters next year and asks them for more money."
Brown has until October 9th to act on hundreds of bills. Last week, he warned lawmakers to expect a lot of vetoes, saying…
Brown: "Not every human problem needs a law."