Summer recess is over for California lawmakers. They return to the state Capitol Monday for their final month of work before adjourning by midnight on Aug. 31.
And even though they and Gov. Jerry Brown have already raised the minimum wage and passed tough new tobacco and gun control measures this year, there's plenty of unfinished business awaiting them before the Legislature adjourns at midnight on August 31st.
The governor wants to speed up the approval process for housing projects. There's also the continuing push to raise new revenues for road and highway repairs through higher gas taxes and vehicle fees. And Brown is negotiating with the oil industry in hopes of extending California's greenhouse gas reduction targets.
But it's not clear that any of those big-ticket items will get done this month. That could place the focus on several individual bills, such as overtime for farm workers, an overhaul of the California Public Utilities Commission, and thorny health care battles like surprise billing and drug price transparency.