California News

CA legislature back in session, considers cuts amid deadlines

Monday, April 09, 2012
California Gov. Jerry Brown appears on an episode of Newsmakers on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012.

California Gov. Jerry Brown appears on an episode of Newsmakers on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. (KABC Photo)

State lawmakers returned from their spring recess Monday having to make several critical decisions as deadlines loom.

Those decisions include whether to make deeper cuts to social welfare programs, reforming the public employee pension system and approve borrowing for a high-speed rail system.

Democrats did not like Governor Jerry Brown's initial proposal for the coming fiscal year, which includes cuts to social services. California is currently facing a $9.2 billion budget shortfall.

Democrats are promising to block many of the cuts and already have rejected some of them in committee hearings. But this means lawmakers will have to find other ways to cut spending, according to Sen. Mark Leno, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

However, Republicans have embraced Brown's plan and introduced legislation in February that duplicates it in its entirety.

In addition to the budget, several high-profile bills will also be considered in the coming months. These bills include stopping the state from paying workers than governor and increasing penalties for teachers who have sexual contact with students, even those who are over 18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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budget, jerry brown, california news
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