Gov. Jerry Brown urged members of the Assembly's budget panel Monday to support his plan for a new rainy-day reserve before voters in November.
Making a rare appearance before a legislative committee, Brown received a friendly reception from Democrats and Republicans alike during an informational hearing on reserve legislation put forward by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles. Brown said his plan would provide "protective restraint."
"When the rain comes we have to store it," Brown told the Assembly Budget Committee. "It will pinch to a certain degree, and that is what the goal is."
The proposal would divert capital gains revenue into a rainy-day reserve when it exceeds 6.5 percent of revenue. It would allow the money to be spent to pay down debt as well as setting aside money to fulfill the state's constitutional school-funding guarantee. Brown called a special legislative session on the subject earlier this month.
The Pérez legislation would replace a reserve measure already on the November ballot, ACA 4, the product of a 2010 deal. It will take Republican votes to make the switch, but Republicans on the committee Tuesday seemed to support the outlines of the Brown/Pérez plan.
Details will be worked out in the coming weeks, Brown and Pérez said. Afterward, Pérez said he wants to bring a reserve measure to the Assembly floor in two weeks, before the budget process gets underway. Brown will release his revised budget in mid-May.
"This is something that has to be done before we pass the next budget," Perez said.
Earlier Monday, though, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said, "We ought to take this up as part of the overall budget, which is only weeks away."