SACRAMENTO -- Now that Gov. Jerry Brown is back from his ancestral tour of Germany and Ireland, his attention is turning to priorities for the closing weeks of the legislative year, which ends Sept. 13.

Though many of the governor’s major policy initiatives – overhauling the state’s education funding system, eliminating enterprise zones and expanding Medi-Cal under the new federal healthcare law – were handled as part of budget negotiations last month, there are still some things on his to-do list.

Among them is overhauling the state’s unemployment insurance plan. As Marc Lifsher reported in Monday’s paper:

"With one of the nation's highest unemployment rates for several years, the state has had to borrow money from the feds to keep the program going. Now that the jobless rate has fallen to 8.5%, Brown would like to start paying down a $10-billion debt.

"His administration is circulating a draft bill that would put the system on an even keel by raising payroll taxes paid by employers. The goal is to win approval before the Legislature finishes work for the year Sept. 13."

Other items on the governor’s agenda include forging ahead with his $24-billion water plan, revamping state electricity rates, opening the troubled San Francsisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and breaking ground later this year on the first leg of the state’s high-speed rail line.

Brown is in the Bay Area on Monday and is expected to return to Sacramento later this week.

ALSO:

Gov. Brown pushes $23-billion plan to tunnel under delta 

Gov. Brown seeks overhaul of unemployment insurance program

Gov. Brown jetting off to Ireland, Germany for two-week vacation

anthony.york@latimes.com

Twitter: @anthonyyorklat