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Crunch Time Begins for California Lawmakers

Sep 3, 2013

The California State Assembly (file photo)
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The California legislature enters its home stretch today. Lawmakers have just two weeks left to debate hundreds of bills.  Ben Adler reports from Sacramento on some of the major issues still on the table.

It’s finally the time of year when committee hearings come to an end, and all-day floor sessions begin – day after day, until lawmakers adjourn at the end of next week.  But they’ve got some big issues to tackle first – none bigger than prisons.  Two competing plans propose different ways of responding to a federal court order requiring the state to reduce overcrowding in its prisons.

Other bills the fates of which are still up in the air include fracking regulations, a minimum wage increase, several gun and ammunition control measures, and changes to the California Environmental Quality Act.

And there’s always the chance that brand-new bills will emerge out of thin air at the eleventh hour through the process known as “gut-and-amend.”