Working under a midnight deadline to pass a budget, lawmakers face a busy day – though still likely a smoother endeavor than the protracted, head-banging budget battles of yore.
Central pieces of the budget deal announced last week include a hefty deposit into the state’s rainy day fund, $1.3 billion for new state office work (potentially including Capitol renovations) and the repeal of a rule denying welfare payments for new kids that lawmakers have attacked for years as cruel and counterproductive. Some other pieces of note:
▪ Affordable housing has vaulted up the agenda this year. But Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t offering money for nothing: if lawmakers want hundreds of millions for lower-cost accommodations, Brown wants them to agree to controversial language easing barriers to local building.
▪ The politically perilous vehicle registration fee would increase by $10, though a long-sought transportation funding deal still hasn’t coalesced.
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▪ Child care has become a top priority for legislative Democrats. The budget phases in an extra $100 million for the coming year and up to $527 million through 2020 to cover minimum wage increases and expand slots.
▪ Touted as a big part of last year’s budget, the Earned Income Tax Credit will take a smaller estimated bite than expected.
▪ Scandal-smacked CalFire could see its investigations unit beefed up.
▪ A change to jury selection rules has ratcheted up tension.
▪ Welfare coverage for diapers didn’t make it in.
VIDEO OF THE DAY: Sen Isadore Hall went off on the gun lobby.
TRANSPARENT, SEE? A brimming ballot has us a little overwhelmed with all the legislative hearings, but this one could be worth keeping an eye on. A measure requiring bills to be in print 72 hours before decisive votes will be publicly vetted today. It’s especially interesting because legislators have just recently offered their own leadership-blessed version of the changes sought by conservative benefactor Charles Munger, Jr., creating some tension and ramping up pressure to get a deal done soon if the Munger measure is to be replaced with the Democrats’ iteration. Munger and former state Sen. Sam Blakeslee are among those scheduled to speak in room 437 starting at 10:30 a.m.
YOUTH VOTE: Elections may have receded from your mind a bit with the June 7 primary behind us, but big questions of civic participation underpin the first hearing today for a constitutional amendment allowing 16-year-olds to vote in school board races. It’s too late to get Assembly Constitutional Amendment 7 on a crowded November ballot, so backers are aiming for 2018 at the earliest. The measures comes up in the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee at 9 a.m.
CELEBRATIONS: Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like voting on a budget, so Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco (turning 46) and Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose (turning 51) get to celebrate today in true legislative style.