California Budget Crisis
A joke that compared a proposed budget measure to a fictional mafia family nearly brought lawmakers to blows on the California Assembly floor Wednesday afternoon.
Democrats who control California’s Legislature passed a series of budget bills Wednesday with few Republican votes, but the plan was widely seen as merely a stopgap to meet the constitutional budget deadline.
Now that Republican lawmakers have voted against a renewal of expiring tax hikes, Democrats are turning to another, more complex way to generate revenue.
Just days ahead of their deadline to pass a balanced budget, state lawmakers struggled on Saturday to compromise on the most contentious issue to close California’s remaining $9.6 billion deficit — whether to renew expiring tax increases.
California’s largest public employee pension fund on Wednesday cut $170 million from the amount the state must pay in the next year toward retirement benefits, mostly because new union contracts shift some of the costs to state workers.
Taxing the rich more to benefit others isn’t a new idea, but it has emerged in recent weeks as a potential solution as California tries to salvage its public education system from deep budget cuts.
Hundreds of teachers from around California descended on the state Capitol Monday to make the case for extending tax hikes as a way to stave off deep budget cuts to public education.
California’s major law enforcement organizations and the sheriff of its most populous county rallied Wednesday behind Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for extending tax increases to pay for a new law that shifts responsibility for thousands of criminals from the state to local governments.
Gov. Jerry Brown asked groups representing crime victims and state prison guards on Monday to help him lobby Republican lawmakers on his proposal to close a budget deficit that once stood at nearly $27 billion.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will shift responsibility for thousands of criminals to local governments, acting over the objections of some law enforcement officials who say there is no money for them to comply.
As the blame game continues in the Capitol, the failure of the budget negotiations highlights a political dynamic that has been at the center of the dysfunction in the state Legislature — a minority party embittered by years of losses and a majority party, the Democrats, that resents having to get Republican approval to pass the kinds of budgets it wants.
Many high school seniors are still waiting to find out if they have been accepted into their favorite college campuses thanks to severe budget cuts that have forced public universities to increase the size of their waitlists.