Assembly Speaker John Perez is pledging to move cautiously in spending California's projected budget surplus and says lawmakers will ask voters to approve a revised 'rainy day fund' in November 2014.
The Los Angeles Democrat said Wednesday that having a voter-mandated savings plan and building an $8 billion budget reserve would protect the state from future "slashes and cuts" like those that devastated state programs during the recession.
The state's anticipated surplus is partly a result of temporary increases in sales and income taxes approved by voters last year before conditions began improving.
The priorities outlined by Perez on behalf of his Democratic members are the opening salvo in a budget debate that will last until June.
Gov. Jerry Brown will propose his budget next month and revise his projections in May.