Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Legislative Democrats send budget plan to Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2015-16 state budget plan at the Capitol on Jan. 13.
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2015-16 state budget plan at the Capitol on Jan. 13. The Associated Press file

It’s not the epic saga of years gone by, but when the Legislature passes a budget today to meet its constitutional deadline, it won’t be the end of the story.

The deal that legislative Democrats are expected to approve – one that Republicans criticized last week as “nothing more than a political exercise” – runs more than $2 billion higher than the proposal Gov. Jerry Brown put forth in his May revision, including about $749 million in additional spending.

Brown and lawmakers will have to reach some sort of compromise by July 1, the start of the fiscal year, which could involve amendments to this plan or an entirely new budget bill. Last year, they settled on a series of spending triggers to negotiate their differing revenue estimates.

So what gives in the final agreement? New child care slots? Restored Medi-Cal reimbursement rates? The rainy-day reserve? Here are seven major issues that remained as of a week ago.

DOCTOR WHO: California is a rare pit stop on the presidential campaign trail, unless wealthy donors and their checkbooks are involved, and Sacramento a rarer one yet. But Mayor Kevin Johnson has secured a visit from retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson for the latest meeting of his African-American empowerment organization Indivizible, 6 p.m. at the Guild Theater. Carson is a favorite in conservative political circles for his sharp criticisms of President Barack Obama, though that outspoken nature has also led to the occasional controversy, particularly when he shares his thoughts on homosexuality.

TRACK THE LEGISLATURE: What’s influencing lawmakers’ actions? A new data feature in our legislative directory at lets you explore which interests are the biggest givers to each member. You’ll also find key political and census information about every district, including unemployment and poverty rates.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assembly members Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, who turns 45 today, and Nora Campos, D-San Jose, who turns 50.

READ MORE: Ben Carson: ‘A lot of doors opening’ to White House bid

Alexei Koseff: (916) 321-5236, @akoseff