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Major Issues Unresolved As Legislature Begins Final Week

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Senate Minority Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) and Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), who's authored highway funding legislation, talk on the Senate floor Friday.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers return from the Labor Day Weekend Tuesday with just four days left to pass some 300 bills and negotiate deals on major issues from greenhouse gas reductions to road repairs.

The odds appear long for a bipartisan deal to raise billions of dollars a year for highway and road repairs. Senate Minority Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) says her members don’t support the gas tax or vehicle fee increases proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“We’re now at the stage where, you know, trying to do an enormous lift with almost no time,“ Fuller told Capital Public Radio on Friday. “And so while everyone wants to fix problems and wants to fix the roads – because certainly I drive every week to Sacramento – I think we’re not that close.”

Chances are stronger that two bills laying out California’s next round of greenhouse gas reduction mandates will pass. But Brown and legislative leaders will have to convince some of their fellow Democrats to support the measures.

And the fates of many other bills remain unclear – from anti-tobacco measures to medical marijuana regulations to end-of-life legislation.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio