Patt Morrison for March 15, 2012

The state of California's politics and budget woes

California Legislators Vote On State's Embattled Budget

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

California State Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) (L) and Senate minority leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murietta) discuss the vote on a solution to the state's budget problem on the evening of July 23, 2009 in Sacramento, California.

In the wake of two big stories that could have major implications for the state budget, Patt sits down to discuss the fallout with California Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg and Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen.

First, Governor Jerry Brown caved to pressure from liberal activists yesterday and further hiked tax rates on the rich in his November tax initiative. Steinberg played a key role in brokering that deal, which he hopes will improve the chances of passing one of several tax initiatives on the ballot and will put an end to the state’s chronic deficit problem. But if passed, will it really do enough to relieve the budget pressure? And how will the perceived weakness play out politically in Sacramento?

Second, California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) voted to lower its assumed rate of return for the first time since the recession, and it could end up costing California another $167 million. We find out where that money might come from and we also look ahead at Attorney General Kamala Harris’s “Homebuyers Bill of Rights” bill package.

Call and write in with your questions.

Guest:

Darrell Steinberg, president pro tem of the State Senate, California state senator (D-6th District)

Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, who represents the 25th Assembly District


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