High-speed rail, pensions and budget all on Capitol agenda
The next two weeks are expected to be busy ones in the state Capitol.
For starters, Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown continue to haggle over the incomplete budget sent by lawmakers to the governor’s desk Friday. Brown has until June 27 to sign or veto the spending plan. He can also eliminate some spending unilaterally with his line-item veto authority.
Brown’s chief objections to the Democrats’ budget remain their plan to suspend work requirements and job training programs for welfare recipients, and the budget’s use of $250 million in property tax revenues to balance the state’s books that Brown wants to go to counties.
Democrats are also planning to take up funding for the state’s high-speed rail project, which has been a priority for Brown. Lawmakers must decide whether they want to go along with Brown’s wishes and authorize the sale of about $2.7 billion in voter-approved bonds to fund the next phase of the project.
Also possible in the next two weeks is action on an overhaul of the state’s pension system. Brown introduced details of his plan earlier this year, which included a mandatory 401(k)-style savings plan and higher retirement ages for most new state workers.
A legislative committee is working on a counterproposal to the governor’s pension plan.
Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn for their month-long summer recess July 3.
--Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), left, and Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), confer during the Assembly session in Sacramento last month. Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli