Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown signs $171-billion state budget

Gov. Jerry Brown approved a state budget during a busy Monday in the Capitol, where lawmakers made progress on a $2-billion proposal to shelter the homeless but put the brakes on new energy policies during an acrimonious hearing. 

The $171-billion spending plan increases funding for state-subsidized child care and removes a limit on welfare payments for families who have additional children while receiving benefits. 

It also boosts the state's reserves, depositing an extra $2 billion into a rainy-day fund intended as a cushion against any future economic downturns.

“This solid budget makes responsible investments in California and sets aside billions of dollars to prepare for the next recession," Brown said in a statement.

The governor didn’t veto anything from the budget legislation he signed, signaling an unusual level of agreement with lawmakers. In previous years, Brown has used his line-item veto power to make small changes, even if he agreed with the overall spending plan.

"California is in stronger fiscal shape than we have been for years," Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said in a statement.

More work remains on state spending. The budget sets aside $400 million for affordable housing, but it won't be spent unless the governor and lawmakers reach a deal on streamlining regulations for building new homes. In addition, no agreement has been reached on how the state should spend revenue from its cap-and-trade program, or how it should fund billions of dollars in overdue road repairs. 

Meanwhile, a $2-billion bond measure to help house homeless people suffering from mental illness was passed by the state Senate after an agreement was reached between Democratic and Republican leaders. - Read More at the latimes


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