Late yesterday, the Budget Conference Committee convened to take action on several language and smaller outstanding issues from various parts of the state budget.
The only community college item acted on was the rejection of the Senate's proposed language to change how Financial Aid Administration dollars are distributed among the colleges. By rejecting the proposed shift to a formula weighted on Pell Grants instead of a BOG Waivers, funds in the program will be distributed in 2010-11 in the same manner as 2009-10.
While committee members stated they hoped a spending plan could be reached by next week, the lack of serious discussion on any big picture items (revenues, borrowing, Proposition 98) both in the committee and, apparently, among legislative leaders, proves that doubtful. Instead, the Capitol is gripped with a showdown between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Controller John Chiang over whether state employees will be paid minimum wage or full salary later this month.
If the courts continue to support the governor and the controller is ordered to pay minimum wage, we would expect a relatively quick, even if incomplete, resolution of the budget. While some state employees are due to be paid next Friday, most aren't expecting checks until July 30 or August 2 (direct deposit). It is very difficult to predict how quickly the Sacramento Superior Court will rule on the governor's and controller's dueling complaints, although it's interesting to note that, from the clerk to the judge, they are all state employees with an interest in the case.
Meanwhile, we need you to keep up your advocacy! While we cancelled the July 20 Capitol Days because legislators returned to their districts, the special interest lobbying continues unabated. The Capitol Days website has everything you need for an effective meeting with your legislators:
The League's regional representatives are here to help you with your meetings and other advocacy efforts. Do not hesitate to contact Stacy Berger (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Northern California or Elaine Reodica (email@example.com) in Southern California. If you are uncertain who you should contact, simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.