Assembly, Senate To Hold Floor Votes on Budget Proposal Today
On Wednesday, California lawmakers in both houses plan to vote on a budget plan that would make deep spending cuts and call a June special election to allow voters to decide whether to extend certain taxes,Â the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Democratic leaders in the Legislature announced the Assembly and Senate floor votes after consulting with Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday (Buchanan/Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16).
Brown's budget proposal calls for $12.5 billion in spending cuts to help close a $26.6 billion budget shortfall over 18 months. The plan includes more than $6 billion in cuts to health care and welfare-to-work services for low-income residents (California Healthline, 3/15).
Brown originally set March 10 as the goal for the Legislature to approve his budget plan. He then asked for the vote to be postponed so he could attempt to garner more GOP support.
Nearly all of the budget-related bills will require a two-thirds majority vote (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16). Achieving a two-thirds majority would require the support of at least two Republicans in each house of the Legislature (California Healthline, 3/10).
So far, no Republican lawmakers have expressed support for Brown's plan.
Floor Vote Details
Democratic leaders acknowledged that they might not have the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the budget plan, but said they still plan to hold floor votes on Wednesday (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16).
A list of the budget-related bills up for consideration is available from the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" (Yamamura, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 3/15).
New Field Poll on Budget Issues
In related news, a recent survey by the Field Poll and UC-Berkeley found that 61% of surveyed California voters favor calling a special election on the tax extension issue.
The poll also found that:
- 58% of voters would vote for the tax extension measure if a special election were held;
- 41% of voters favor Brown's plan to shift a portion of Proposition 10 funding away from California's First 5 early childhood health and education program;
- 37% of voters support Brown's plan to the shift a portion of Proposition 63 funding away from mental health services; and
- A significant majority of voters oppose proposed cuts to child care, mental health services and health care programs for low-income residents (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16).
On Monday, KPCC's "Madeleine Brand Show" reported on the governor's attempts to win GOP support for his budget plan (Brand, "Madeleine Brand Show," KPCC, 3/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.