The Budget Deadline Nears

Scott Lay
Publisher of The Nooner

Well, we now know the plan. It’s a plan to negotiate with Governor Newsom after Monday’s deadline but to make sure lawmakers keep getting paid. Wednesday in a joint statement, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) announced that they would pass the “Legislature’s” joint budget plan on Monday’s constitutional deadline before while continuing to negotiate with Governor Newsom to close the difference between the May Revision and legislative Democrats plan. Passing the budget bill on Monday only requires a simple majority and with the over two-thirds advantage held by Democrats in both houses, members in tougher districts can be given a pass on the maneuver.

The Legislature’s budget plan was amended into SB 808 Wednesday and was available at 9:23pm last night so it can be voted on at any time Monday.

After Monday, a whole new budget bill could be passed by the Legislature or a “baby budget bill” could be approved to address a compromise between legislative leaders and Governor Newsom. Because they are so dramatically different based on the federal funds trigger mechanism approach, passing a whole new bill would be easier unless Newsom comes along with the Legislature’s wait-and-cut-later approach and only minor tweaks are needed.

The date that now matters is July 31. After that date, legislative employees are not paid and payments to schools, other local governments, and vendors are not made. Non-legislative employees are paid without a budget.

Here is the Legislative Analyst Office’s handout on the Legislature’s plan and how it differs from the May Revision on major points. 

There are lots of other issues in play, most notably the frustration over the governor’s expenditure of funds while the Legislature stayed at home amidst the COVID-19 public health order. This resurfaced Wednesday during the debate on ACA 25(Mullin et al.), the measure to place the question on the November ballot of whether the Legislature should be allowed to conduct remote proceedings under specific states of emergency. That measure, which is co-authored by Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron (R-Escondido), passed 60-13-6, sending it to the State Senate.

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