Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

The clock is ticking. Legislators have until 11:59 p.m. to pass a budget, or their checkbooks get lighter.

Both houses have set floor sessions this morning, and Democrats hope to pass all manner of proposals under their majority-vote Plan B.

They aim to erase the remaining $9.6 billion budget deficit through more cuts and fees, plus accounting maneuvers, delayed payments and a resurrected plan to sell and lease back state properties.

As Kevin Yamamura reports in today's Bee, several of the proposals could face legal challenges.

Here's some of what's on the table without a bipartisan budget deal:

• Raising the state sales tax by one-quarter cent.
• Raising vehicle registration fees by $12 a vehicle.
• Adopting the so-called "Amazon" tax requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes.
• Adopting firefighting fee for rural homeowners.
• Cutting the budgets for the University of California and California State University systems by another $150 million each.

Gov. Jerry Brown will have 12 days to sign or veto the budget bills after receiving them. He's expected to keep negotiating for his own plan.

The budget fight hasn't helped his approval rating so much according to the latest Field Poll. Check out David Siders' story on the numbers in today's Bee and see the statistical tabulations exclusive to Capitol Alert.

Meanwhile, Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, has announced he'll introduce legislation that he says would ban the Legislature from passing a gimmick-laden budget.

Capitol Alert will keep you posted throughout the day.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Assemblywoman Nora Campos celebrates her birthday today. The San Jose Democrat turns 46.


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