Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, left, talks with Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, during the first day of the Legislative session for the new year at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Jan. 6 2014. Lawmakers appeared jovial during the opening session buy many were looking ahead to Friday, when Gov. Jerry Brown release his budget proposal for the fiscal year that starts in July. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday for the second half of their two-year session, one that is expected to be marked by conflicts over spending or saving a budget surplus that was unthinkable just a couple of years ago.
Members of the Assembly and Senate appeared jovial during their opening sessions, but many were looking ahead to Friday, when Gov. Jerry Brown releases his budget proposal for the fiscal year that starts in July.
The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office is projecting a $3.2 billion surplus, the first one in years, and many Democratic constituencies have their eye on the money after years of cuts to state programs. Several Democratic lawmakers already are advocating for higher spending on certain programs, although the party’s leadership is preaching a more conservative approach.
Speaker John Perez, D-Los Login to read more