Don’t mistake the Assembly Budget Committee’s unanimous passage of Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison plan Thursday for a clear sail through that chamber.
Committee chairwoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said Friday that the committee acted largely in order to beat the deadline for fiscal committees to move bills to the floor – not because every member agrees completely with the plan put forth by Brown, Assembly Speaker John Perez, Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway.
She demurred when asked whether she prefers this plan to the alternative put forth by state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. “All of this stuff is still being discussed and negotiated,” she said.
She’s not the only Bay Area liberal lawmaker who’s undecided on which plan to side with.
Aug. 16 was the last day for policy committees to meet and report bills, so the Brown/Perez/Huff/Conway plan doesn’t have to go through the Public Safety Committee, chaired by Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.
I asked whether Ammiano would care to discuss the competing prison plans as chairman of the committee that would’ve had to hear them had they come earlier. “I think he’d rather stay away from the hypotheticals, and has yet to make a decision on how to vote when the Brown/Perez bill gets to the floor,” spokesman Carlos Alcala replied late Thursday afternoon.