Temperatures are heating up, the school year is coming to a close and Memorial Day is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing: Budget season is upon us.
Discussions in and around the Capitol about the 2014-15 budget are about to get serious as Gov. Jerry Brown unveils his revised budget proposal today at a series of press conferences across the state.
Brown's draft proposal in January, which projected California's first revenue surplus since the recession, emphasized paying down state debts and modest spending increases. Brown has maintained a drumbeat for fiscal responsibility in the months since, announcing a deal on a rainy-day reserve fund last week.
But many lawmakers and outside interest groups have been looking to use the additional money to reverse spending cuts implemented during the recession or fund major new programs such as universal pre-kindergarten. With state tax revenues running even higher than estimates, those calls are likely to get even louder as Brown and the Legislature negotiate a final budget over the next month.
Brown will first present his revised budget proposal at the Capitol at 9 a.m., with later stops in Los Angeles and San Diego.
VIDEO: In his campaign for state Senate, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is playing down his political career, Dan Walters says.
BRINGING IT HOME: In-home caregivers have made repeated trips to Sacramento this year to protest a budget proposal that would restrict their hours. They will be outside the Capitol, near 12th and N streets, following the governor's press conference for another rally. Sens. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, and Assembly members Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Jose Medina, D-Riverside, V. Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella, and Pan are scheduled to attend.
HEALTHY MINDS: The Each Mind Matters campaign, which works to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness, sponsors Mental Health Matters Day, with a rally on the south steps of the Capitol at 11 a.m. featuring state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, among others.
ALWAYS LEARNING: The California School-Age Consortium, which advocates for programs for students outside of school time, will be joined by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to call for the passage of SB 1221, which would expand access to after-school and summer programs, 11:45 a.m. on the north steps of the Capitol.
PROPOSITION PROTEST: In 2004, voters passed Proposition 63, which taxes millionaires to help pay for mental health services. One of the initiative's authors, Rose King, will be at the south steps of the Capitol at 10:15 a.m. to protest what she considers a waste of the program's funds. Last August, an audit found that state agencies had not properly overseen how counties were spending billions of dollars generated by Prop 63.