Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Budget season revs up with calls for more services

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2016-17 state budget at a news conference at the California State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2016-17 state budget at a news conference at the California State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. rbyer@sacbee.com

First comes the budget, then come the demands.

Budget season kicked off on Thursday with the traditional gubernatorial press conference, complete with the requisite Gov. Jerry Brown laugh line, and the responses immediately began pouring in. We’ll get a clearer picture of what’s really going to happen with the May version including better revenue estimates, but the long dance of influencing what makes the cut can begin in earnest.

Given that surpluses have led Brown to propose a larger budget with billions in new spending, it’s no surprise that social services advocates are again ramping up their advocacy for more money. Members of the umbrella Health and Human Services network are rallying across the state today for a number of priorities, including a higher minimum wage (on which Brown urged caution), more funding for disabled Californians (on which Republicans and Democrats agree), and lifting a ban on welfare boosts for new family members (which Brown left out but Democratic leadership wants).

Stay with us in the coming months for news and analysis on everyone’s favorite fiscal cycle.

CLINTON CASH: Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is scheduled to shake the campaign cash tree in San Francisco today during a “conversation with Hillary” event. The former secretary of state remains the frontrunner among California Democrats, with the latest polling showing her double-digit lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, hasn’t budged in months.

VROOM VROOM: Motorcycle riders have rights, too. That was the premise of unsuccessful legislation last year seeking to bar discrimination against bikers, and thousands of motorcycle mavens plan to gather on the west steps Saturday for a massive “unification rally.” If you’re planning to attend, you might want to invest in earplugs.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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