SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has repeated her call to suspend a state law that requires companies to lower greenhouse gases.

Whitman, a Republican, said she wants to "figure out how to be smart and green," according to the Contra Costa Times.

The former eBay CEO also said she would take a stand later this week on the controversial Proposition 23, the initiative financed by out-of-state oil companies to all but kill the state law, also referred to as AB32.

At a campaign stop in Sacramento on Monday, touting her support for business tax relief, Whitman said she would like to "change the implementation schedule" of the state law "so we don't drive jobs out of California while we nurture our green economy," the report says.

Earlier Monday in Los Angeles, her Democratic opponent, California Attorney General Jerry Brown, accused Whitman of "trying to have it both ways" by calling the state law a job killer while refusing to take a position on Prop. 23.

"Attempts to shelve the state's landmark law to combat climate change are regressive, shortsighted and counterproductive, and I urge Californians to vote no on Proposition 23," Brown told a group of business leaders. "While Texas oil pumps millions into the yes campaign, Meg Whitman continues to flip and flop her way out of taking a real stance on this harmful measure."

Whitman, who spoke to a group of employees at Encompass, a remanufacturer of laser printer cartridges, on Monday, said while jobs in the green sector make up 3 percent of the California economy, all other job sectors make up the rest of the economy.

"I care a lot about the environment of California, as do all Californians, but I also think it's very important to have a balance between the needs of the environment and the needs of jobs and people," Whitman said, according to the Contra Costa Times.

"We have to balance the needs of both. What is absolutely essential to hold onto green jobs and what is essential for the other 97 percent of the economy."

Whitman said the first thing she'd do as governor would be to place a moratorium on all new regulations, while eliminating others. She continued her call for tax breaks for businesses, including eliminating the factory tax, which currently charges a sales tax on equipment purchases, eliminating the business startup tax and increasing the research and development tax credit from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Relief to small businesses, she told the group of employees, would be her main focus if elected.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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