Lawmakers prepare to vote on California budget
Lawmakers plan to vote on Friday on a new state budget even though negotiations have not produced a final deal with Gov. Jerry Brown.
The budget, which is being pushed through the Legislature by Democrats without any Republican support, includes more spending on social services than Brown wanted. Democratic lawmakers also disagree with the governor on how to spend about $250 million in property tax revenue that once funded redevelopment agencies.
However, passing a budget Friday will allow lawmakers to hit their deadline and continue receiving a paycheck. A constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2010 strips lawmakers of their pay if a budget isn't approved by June 15.
It's unclear what Brown will do with the budget once it's passed by the Legislature. It can still be modified through follow-up legislation. He could also veto the budget like he did last year, sending it back to lawmakers for revision.
This year's budget needs to close an estimated $15.7 billion deficit, the result of a tax shortfall, higher-than-expected spending and an increase in school funding because of a voter-mandated formula. The Legislative Analyst's Office, which provides nonpartisan budget advice to lawmakers, has said the deficit could be even higher.
Throughout the process, Republicans have criticized Democrats for what they called a lack of transparency. On Thursday, they boycotted a Senate budget hearing because budget legislation was not available for public review far enough in advance.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) talks to reporters with Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) at the Capitol on Wednesday. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Los Angeles Times