Appropriations isn't the most exciting committee, but it is one of the most important. Every bill that would cost taxpayers money needs the Appropriations "stamp of approval." In tough budget times like this one, that's not easy to get. Senate President Darrell Steinberg says majority Democrats are very conscious of the state's financial condition.
Steinberg: "We went from $1 billion worth of proposals from Democrats and Republicans and we've winnowed it down to about $6 million of general fund. And we recognize the times."
The bills that didn't escape will remain in the suspense file - often called the place where bills go to die. That's where a couple of political reform bills by Republican Sam Blakeslee ended up. One would ban employers of lobbyists from giving gifts to lawmakers. The other would let voters opt out of receiving political "robocalls."