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The final round of the California budget – POLITICO

BUDGETARY CONCLUSION: If the California state budget battle was a boxing match, the fight would be in the 12th round.

It’s not boxing, so don’t expect oversized championship belts, knockout punches (fingers crossed, for the good of all) or even Snoop Dogg appearances (you know what i’m talking about, viewers of Tyson v. Jones Jr.). Still, the days leading up to the June 15 deadline for the legislature to pass a budget are sure to bring their fair share of sweat, jawbones, and fanciful footwork from lawmakers et al — all without a pay-per-view rate. high card. .

As negotiations reach their home stretch, a juggernaut of a budget bill was posted on the Legislature’s website on Wednesday – the kind of legislation long enough at test legislature systemsincluding, presumably, its printers. The law projectreflecting a joint House-Senate budget agreement, cleared the Senate Budget Committee today and is “likely” to reach the Senate floor on Monday, committee chairman Sen said. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), tweeted today.

“Meanwhile, negotiations with @GavinNewsom continue,” she wrote.

These negotiations have, by all appearances, attracted their fair share of bargaining despite the state swimming in a record budget surplus. Part of the problem has to do with how much money to invest in ongoing costs, as revenues are still buoyed by massive influxes of pandemic relief and a tangled web of other variables makes it difficult to predict how much the California can expect to harvest next year. . Not to mention the Office of the Legislative Analyst warning about increased risk of recession over the next two years – a warning with the power to reverberate in a state still haunted by the painful cuts of the 2008 era.

Beyond those wrinkles in the numbers, there is considerable daylight between the statehouse leadership and the governor. Gavin Newsom in several policy areas, including school funding, an arena where the legislature passed a Newsom proposal intended to protect school districts from funding cuts associated with declining pandemic-era enrollment.

It’s a move that has ‘shaken’ the education community, a longtime school lobbyist Kevin Gordon said Playbook PM last week.

Meanwhile, as Democrats prepare to finalize details, House Republicans attempt to rein in with a “Where did the money go?” country, complaining that the state is spending without accountability, pointing to homelessness and wildfire prevention programs which they say have yet to deliver results – as well as the backlog at the ‘EDD that left many Californians waiting months for Covid-relief help.

“The bottom line is this: Here in California, we continue to pay the most for the least results,” the Republican leader said. James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), in front of the Capitol this morning.

Another bottom line: Republicans have little power to stop mass surplus-era spending in a Democratic-dominated legislature.

So if you’re watching at ringside as the final round of California’s budget fight winds down, look for Newsom and the Democratic leadership in the corners.

GOOD THURSDAY AFTERNOON! Welcome to California Playbook PM, a POLITICO newsletter that serves as an afternoon temperature check on California politics and a preview of what our political reporters are watching. Today is our last edition until we return in August for the legislative home stretch.. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Send an e-mail to [email protected] and [email protected] or send a shout on Twitter. DMs are open!

FAST FOOD WORKERS ON STRIKE: Cooks and cashiers at California restaurants across the state are on strike today demanding better wages and working conditions while promoting Assembly Bill 257, which would give restaurant workers quick bargaining power.

The bill, backed by unions, would establish the Fast Food Industry Council and authorize it to set minimum standards on wages, working hours and health and safety conditions. Lorena Gonzalezleader of the California Labor Federation and former member of the Assembly, was in San Diego this morning alongside hitting Jack in the Box employees.

But a group of business leaders have already banded together to fight the bill. The Stop AB 257 campaign says union leaders are pushing a “false narrative” of widespread labor and wage violations to pass a law they say will raise restaurant prices. The bill is to be heard Monday before the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Pensions Committee.

PUSHBACK OF CARE FIELD: This is the critical moment for CARE Court. Conservatives and public guardians, as well as counties, are lobbying the Newsom administration to include funding for additional spending they say the governor’s plan for the new civil court system — for people with serious mental health issues. mental health – will cost them . Newsom’s proposed budget contains nearly $65 million to create the system.

But while the administration has promised to work with cities and counties to estimate their additional costs, the proposed budget doesn’t include specific dollar figures for that — and it leaves Tories and Guardians completely out. . “California must finally come to the table to support the vulnerable citizens we serve by committing $200 million annually to our essential safety net services,” Scarlet Hughesexecutive director of the California State Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians and Public Conservators, said at a press conference this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the California State Counties Association is developing additional cost estimates for counties and suggesting potential amendments to the bill that would create CARE Court, SB 1338. CSAC Senior Legislative Representative, Farrah McDaid Ting, said additional costs to counties will likely be north of $400 million but less than $1 billion. — Victoria Colliver

PINK TAX PROGRESSIONS: A proposal to ban companies from charging more for products marketed to a specific gender has moved closer to Newsom’s desk. The measure, which cleared a Senate Judiciary Committee vote this week, is the latest attempt to eliminate the so-called pink tax, by which women pay more for substantially similar products, such as razors and deodorant. Companies found to violate this rule could face fines of up to $10,000.

Assembly Bill 1287 will be amended in the coming days to close a loophole that would have allowed a company to charge different prices for products if they were marketed under separate brand names. —Alexander Nieves

Spending spree: Oversight is scarce as billions in COVID aid pour into California schoolsby Robert Lewis and Joe Hong of CalMatters: “In a two-part investigation, CalMatters took a deep dive into how California schools spent a massive influx of federal coronavirus relief funds, and found that schools had very different approaches to stimulus spending. – from laptops to shade structures to ice cream There is no centralized database to show the public exactly where the money went.

“Imagine your boss handing you a check for four months of your salary and telling you to spend it quickly or risk giving it back. For schools, it was money for things like laptops, air filters and mental health counselors – money to help children.

News Analysis: Ten Years Later, California’s ‘Top Two’ Aren’t Always What They Seem,by John Myers of the LA Times“Whether the primary rules have helped or hindered voters has been debated, almost nonstop, for a decade. Some of the most seductive promises made 10 years ago – that pragmatic candidates would trump partisans, for example – have not materialized.

“There was a long list of arguments that were made,” said Paul Mitchell, one of the state’s most prominent political data analysts. “But the balance sheet does not match what the lawyers promised.”

— “Nancy Pelosi husband’s court date set,by Owen Tucker-Smith of the Sacramento Bee.

— “Five Marines killed in military plane crash in Californiaby CNN’s Barbara Starr and Ellie Kaufman.

— “Disney CEO fires top entertainment executive Peter Rice in big surpriseby LAist’s Mike Roe.