Jerry Brown calls legislative special session to debate reserve plan

Gov. Jerry Brown today called a special session of the Legislature in an effort to persuade lawmakers to approve his proposal for creating a new budget reserve for the state.

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday called a legislative special session to prod lawmakers to approve his proposal for creating a new reserve fund, which the governor says will insulate the state from the economic turbulence it's suffered in the past.

The special session is scheduled to begin on April 24.


California has had a rainy day fund since 2004, but it's mostly been left empty amid the state's budget crises and there are weak rules for funding the account. Brown wants a new plan that would require the state to save some tax revenue from capital gains.

He says his proposal, which he wants placed before voters on the November ballot, would help stabilize California's notoriously unreliable finances and help prevent deep cuts during economic downturns.

"We simply must prevent the massive deficits of the last decade and we can only do that by paying down our debts and creating a solid rainy day fund," Brown said in a statement.

Brown's proposal, which echoes one put forward by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) last year, faces an uncertain future in the Legislature. Placing the issue on the ballot requires a two-thirds vote, and criminal investigations of Democratic lawmakers have cost Brown's party its supermajority in the state Senate.

Republicans are backing a different proposal for a rainy day fund, which was approved by the Legislature in 2010 and is also scheduled to be on the November ballot.

Brown and his fellow Democrats say that plan is flawed and should be replaced with the governor's version.


Twitter: @chrismegerian