The program moving foward…

Back to work. The new, improved, and expanded Budget Conference Committee will be made up of five legislators from both the Assembly and Senate instead of the usual three.

They will include:
* Assemblymember Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) as Chair
* Assemblymember Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
* Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills)
* Senator Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego)
* Senator Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga)
* Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)
* Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
* Senator Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Hills)

The final two Assembly Republican appointments to the Conference Committee are still being finalized. A spot budget bill (SB 61) will move on Thursday morning (May 21) to establish the budget conference committee, which will be tasked with closing the $21 billion budget gap. It will begin with an overview of the budget from the Department of Finance and Legislative Analyst’s Office. On Friday, the Conference Committee will hear testimony on the state’s cash management issues.

Next week, May 25-28, the conference committee will use its meetings to get public testimony. Health issues are expected to be heard on Wednesday, May 27th.

Votes will start June 1st. The Legislature is aiming to have the conference committee finish its work by mid-June, and put out proposals to the floor to amend the 2009-10 budget package. The goal is to get those passed and in law prior to the start of the fiscal year (July 1).

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