But he was careful to never explicitly say so.
Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the powerful California Chamber of Commerce, invited reporters over this morning to talk about the state of things regarding California's budget saga. And the one thing the politically savvy Zaremberg said his group, and Californians everywhere want, is a "comprehensive" plan.
In fact, by my count, the Cal Chamber leader used that term -- a "comprehensive" plan -- 29 times in a chat that lasted about 30 minutes, both politely passing on an explicit definition or whether Brown's $26 billion deficit solution meets the standard.
Nonetheless, the Q&A left a clear impression that two things are not abhorrent to Zaremberg and, perhaps by extension, to the state's most powerful business interests: a budget with some kind of taxes, and an election where voters are asked to consider the issue.
Let's take the second one first -- a budget election in June.
"The governor, I believe, is following through on a commitment that helped him get elected and that resonated with the voters," said Zaremberg. "And I appreciate that very much."
It's important to remember that the state chamber was one of the key backers of the 2009 special election on budget issues, one which flopped at the ballot box. The chamber's president today invoked 2009 several times as providing both good and bad lessons. But he seemed to signal that, in his view, the defeat of the budget package wasn't tied to the tax extensions -- the very same extensions on income, sales, and vehicle taxes Brown wants to place on the ballot again.
"We thought these [taxes] were the least harmful," he said. "They were broad based."
Zaremberg's careful comments come on the heels of yet another report that a few Republicans are, in fact, negotiating with the governor on something that would compel them to ratify a special election including additional tax revenues.
And perhaps the most lasting element to the Cal Chamber leader's comments may be the impact on those talks, as he seemed intent on giving political cover to those legislators who are willing to push beyond their party orthodoxy.
"If they participate in a solution that is comprehensive and helps solve the budget crisis," he said, "there'll be support for them in their communities when they're subject to criticism for participating in solving the state's budget crisis."
And again, going back to 2009, the state chamber stepped in to defend then GOP Assemblymember Anthony Adams, whose vote for the tax hike led to an unsuccessful recall attempt but also to his decision to leave office.
Read today's careful chat with the press as you will, but it will no doubt keep the wheels moving at the Capitol as the March 10 deadline approaches. Zaremberg said what the public and businesses need is "certainty" about the state's finances and the road ahead for everything ranging from K-12 school cuts to taxes.
And in his only real attempt to define the word of the day... he said this:
"Comprehensive is what gets bipartisan support," he said. "It cuts across party lines."
Update -- The governor's press office sent this statement from Brown on Zaremberg's comments: "I welcome the forthright and positive message of the California Chamber of Commerce. It is apparent that momentum is now building for a bipartisan budget solution that includes spending cuts and a temporary extension of current taxes."