Money

Capitol Alert
June 22, 2015
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com

  • Senate officials say extra money helps solve upper house’s budget problems
  • Assembly’s increase is the largest since before recession

California’s legislative branch will be among the beneficiaries of the $115.4 billion general fund spending plan on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, with both houses receiving funding increases nearly 10 times last year’s rate.

In the case of the Senate, the 4.55 percent increase – from $116.25 million in 2014-15 to $121.54 million in 2015-16 – will help solve internal budget problems that led to the layoffs of more than three-dozen employees last November. Senate officials said at the time that the upper house faced an imbalance of $3 million to $4 million.

“In combination with last year’s workforce restructuring, the Senate’s budget is now in balance,” Claire Conlon, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, said Monday.

In the Assembly, the 4.55 percent budget bump – from $153.17 million in 2014-15 to $160.14 million in 2015-16 – will be the Assembly’s largest increase since before the recession.

Under the 1990 ballot measure that imposed legislative term limits, Assembly and Senate budgets are linked to a constitutional formula known as the state appropriations limit. The formula reflects changes in personal income, population and school attendance and can vary widely from year to year. For 2014-15, the SAL was just 0.48 percent.

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