Like the Senate plan approved late last week, the Assembly proposal would rely on rosier revenue projections from the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office – not the governor’s more cautious estimates of about $3 billion less.
Assembly Democrats say their budget is prudent. “We don’t want to spend one-time money on ongoing services. We’ve clawed our way to fiscal stability, and damned if we’re not going to make sure that we stay there,” says Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield.
But Budget Vice-Chair Jeff Gorell says the $500 million Assembly Democrats want to invest in social programs and the court system would undermine the governor’s cautious budget proposal. “That’s institutional programmatic spending that we’re going to have to keep up over the next couple of years – whether the economy does well or whether the economy dips again,” Gorell says.
Lawmakers will next move to a conference committee to reconcile the Assembly and Senate plans – then move into final negotiations with Governor Brown. The legislature’s constitutional deadline to pass a budget is June 15th.