SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers have adjourned for their summer recess after unabashedly positioning themselves to their best competitive advantage going into the fall election campaign. Majority Democrats hammered through a state budget, protections for homeowners who face foreclosures and high-speed rail plan, brushing aside Republicans’ opposition. They maneuvered to give top ballot position to a tax initiative backed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, although it faces a legal challenge. Outnumbered Republicans countered with impassioned floor speeches criticizing the budget as half-baked and the mortgage protections as dangerous to California’s fragile housing market. They blasted union-backed Democrats for failing to rein in public employee pensions that Republicans say are bankrupting the state. Legislators return next month to take up the pension debate and other legislation before adjourning for good on Aug. 31.
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