California leaders seek budget deal in hearings and backrooms
Lawmakers plan to convene budget hearings in the Assembly and the Senate on Tuesday, while behind closed doors Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are racing to reach a deal on state spending.
Democratic lawmakers on Monday released their budget outline, which contains hundreds of millions of dollars less in cuts to social services than proposed by the governor. The full report ran in Tuesday's L.A. Times.
The deadline for lawmakers to approve a budget is Friday, and the new fiscal year starts July 1. So Democrats have begun pushing a spending plan through the Legislature even without a final deal in place.
One topic of Tuesday's hearing is expected to be the question of how Democratic lawmakers hope to afford softening Brown's proposed cuts. They have suggested reducing the amount of money the governor wants to set aside in a reserve fund, and they expect to get some help from the shutdown of redevelopment agencies.
Because the agencies have become defunct, the property taxes that once supported them will now flow to local governments and schools. The budget outline released by Assembly Democrats on Monday assumes schools will get more property tax revenue than Brown anticipated, which would allow the state to shift its funding to other programs.
Targeting redevelopment money has proved to be controversial. The Legislative Analyst's Office has already said there will be less funding available than hoped, and local governments have fought legal battles with the state over where the money will go.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks with state Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco, center) and Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Bob Blumenfield (D-Sherman Oaks, right) during a hearing last year. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press