California Lawmakers Head Back to Work
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Legislature resumes its session this week after a monthlong summer recess, giving the Democratic majority one last chance to persuade voters that a statewide tax increase is needed and that lawmakers can be trusted to handle the extra money wisely.
The budget lawmakers passed in June relies on voters approving a November ballot initiative to raise state sales and income taxes. But revelations of hidden cash, raises for legislative staff and the authorization for massively expensive public works projects will make that task more difficult.
The state parks department was hiding nearly $54 million in two special accounts even as officials threatened to close 70 parks. About the same time, it was revealed that lawmakers gave raises to more than 1,000 legislative employees while they made deep budget cuts.