SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - State lawmakers officially begin their next two-year session with the Legislature reshaped by the November election.
Voters gave Democrats two-thirds majorities in the Assembly and Senate, enough to raise taxes if they choose without Republican support. They also approved Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, which will bring in about $6 billion a year.
If Democratic lawmakers don't blow through the new money, the state could see a budget surplus within two years.
Monday's events will be mostly ceremonial before the Legislature adjourns for the holidays, although some lawmakers will begin introducing bills to be taken up next year.
Lawmakers, along with California's statewide officeholders, also will be working for less pay starting Monday.
The California Citizens Compensation Commission voted in May to reduce their salaries by 5 percent.
The Associated Press