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California Legislature Returns To State Capitol Monday


California lawmakers convene Monday at the state Capitol for the second half of their two-year session -- with lots of unfinished business from 2015.

The Legislature adjourned last fall without reaching deals on two thorny issues that prompted Governor Jerry Brown to call special sessions: money for road and highway repairs, and how to fill an upcoming billion-dollar hole in the state’s Medi-Cal budget.

Both likely require two-thirds votes, which would mean support from every Democrat and a few Republicans.

But that’s been hard to come by, since proposals include higher gas taxes and vehicle fees, and a tax on health insurance plans that has yet to win the industry’s backing. And tax votes for both sides could be even harder to get in an election year.

Later this week, Gov. Jerry Brown will release his January budget proposal, which will include his plans for both – plans that went nowhere last year.

Other issues expected to surface in the Legislature this year include gun control, poverty and homelessness.

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