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Democrats Push Top Billing For Governor’s Tax Hike

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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference about the state budget on May 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Brown proposes $8.3 billion cuts in California to help close a projected $16 billion budget shortfall. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference about the state budget on May 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Brown proposes $8.3 billion cuts in California to help close a projected $16 billion budget shortfall. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers are moving a bill that could give the governor’s tax initiative top billing on California’s November ballot.

Senate Democrats introduced SB1039 as part of budget implementing language they plan to send Gov. Jerry Brown by Wednesday.

The bill would require bond measures and constitutional amendments appear on the ballot ahead of other initiatives and referendums.

That would place Brown’s tax hike on state sales and upper-income earners ahead of a competing tax hike proposal by wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger.

It would also help the governor’s initiative stand out in a crowded ballot. So far 11 measures have qualified.

A water bond proposal is currently first but it is expected to be delayed by the Legislature.

Brown’s tax is temporary but includes constitutional changes to local funding.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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