SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a measure blocking new local taxes on soda and other sugary drinks for the next 12 years. Beverage companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have moved to convince state Legislatures around the country to block local taxation of sugary drinks. A growing number of cities are looking toward taxes to discourage people from drinking beverages linked to obesity. Brown’s signature Thursday clears the way for the California Business Roundtable to withdraw a ballot measure that would ask voters to make it harder for local governments to raise taxes of any kind. Brown took heat when a photo emerged showing him alongside beverage industry lobbyists at the governor’s mansion. Brown’s spokesman says the meeting earlier this month was unrelated to the deal.