Budget Conference Committee Begins Deliberations, Aims to Complete Work Next Week

On Thursday, the Budget Conference Committee, comprised of five Senators and five Assembly Members, convened to begin its work to reconcile differences in budget packages approved by Senate and Assembly budget committees. Conference Committee Chair Senator Holly Mitchell opened the hearing by detailing the work ahead of the committee, which includes a great deal of work within a tight timeline. The conference committee aims to wrap up its deliberations and actions by the end of next week.

Senator Mitchell noted that the two budget frameworks adopted by the Senate and Assembly “are not that far apart” and include similar revenue estimates and prioritization of investments in education, health, and housing. Conference Committee Vice Chair Assembly Member Phil Ting indicated that “90-plus percent” of the budget is already complete, reflecting the shared input and values of the Legislature, Administration, and the people of the state of California.

Thursday’s hearing featured an overview of budget packages approved by both houses and issues to be considered by the Budget Conference Committee, presented by the Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek. Petek, in his remarks, detailed the role of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) in the conference committee process, underscored the current strong economic status in California, and warned of the potential for an economic recession in the coming years.

After receiving the overview of issues from the LAO and Department of Finance (DOF), the conference committee began its consideration of K-12 and Higher Education issues, which continued into today. The conference committee is also working through Resources and Transportation issues today and is set to continue its deliberations through next week on Health and Human Services, State Administration and General Government, and Public Safety, Corrections, and the Judiciary issues beginning on Monday. Items to be considered by the conference committee by subject area are available here.