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No Budget Deal Yet, But Lawmakers To Vote Anyway

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

California Gov. Jerry Brown gestures to a chart showing the increase in education spending as he discusses his revised state budget plan during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday May 14, 2015.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Monday is the California Legislature’s constitutional budget deadline, and lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a spending plan. But it’s not one supported by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The proposal from Democratic legislative leaders relies on $3 billion more in projected revenues than the governor does. That would free up an extra $800 million for Democrats’ top priorities, such as child care and higher education. 

“What we’ve presented are reasonable things that we think should be done,“ Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins told Capital Public Radio late last week. “They’re in line with our priorities, in line with our values.”

But H.D. Palmer with the governor’s Department of Finance says the Legislature is well aware of Brown’s concerns:

“They are using a much higher revenue forecast to finance ongoing higher levels of spending that we don’t think is gonna be sustainable – either in the short term or the long term,” Palmer says.

The governor will have 12 days to sign or veto the Democratic proposal. But the speaker says she doesn’t think it will come to that.

“We don’t want to send him a budget to veto,“ Atkins said last week. “That’s not our goal at all. No. we want to work together to get something we all agree to.”

The speaker thinks a deal can be reached in the next few days. The new fiscal year starts July 1.