You might think the state budget consists of just a single bill. But it also includes two dozen so-called "trailer bills," a handful of which were approved last week. Those are bills that change existing state law so the budget can be implemented. And they sometimes prove very significant.
Take, for example, last year's education trailer bill. Lawmakers barely had time to look it over before it came up for a vote. And it contained language that barred school districts from laying off teachers if mid-year trigger cuts kicked in. This year's education trailer will draw a lot of attention too. That's because cuts equivalent to three weeks off the school year would be triggered if Governor Jerry Brown's November tax measure fails.
The trailers aren't subject to the June 15th constitutional budget deadline. But top Democrats say they'll send the remaining bills to the governor "well before" the new fiscal year starts July 1st.