Both the Assembly and the Senate are set to begin the new legislative session on Monday with floor sessions at 12 and 2 p.m. respectively. Democrats hold supermajorities in both houses. While the Governor and legislative leadership have expressed reservations about using supermajority powers to leverage new taxes, it remains to be seen how Democrats will use these powers in the new year.
The Democratic supermajority could be used to raise taxes, adopt fees, sunset existing tax credits, pass urgency legislation, override a veto or place measures on the ballot. The League anticipates some legislative discussions this year surrounding tax expenditures such as the Enterprise Zone Program.
Governor’s Budget Expected Thursday
As required by the California Constitution, the Governor is expected to submit his 2013-14 budget proposal on Thursday, Jan. 10. In November voters passed the Governor’s tax measure, Proposition 30, which is expected to give the state budget improved stability.
Prop. 30 temporarily raised the state sales tax by one-quarter percent for four years and increases personal income taxes on income earned by single-filers earning $250,000, joint-filers earning $500,000, and heads-of-household earning $340,000 for seven years. The League’s analysis of Prop. 30 is available on the League’s website.
While it remains to be seen what will actually appear in his budget proposal, during his press conference the day after the election, Gov. Brown indicated that this top priorities for 2013 would be regulatory reform, investment and job creation, water reliability, high speed rail, and education. The Governor may also include a proposal to end the Enterprise Zone Program similar to his 2011 plan.