Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown approves a $183-billion state budget, though a few details are unfinished

California budget

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a $183.2-billion budget, a spending plan with significant boosts for public schools and a variety of programs to help California's most needy residents.

While the blueprint depends on a series of other related bills that haven't reached his desk, Brown's action largely ratifies the plan approved by the Legislature and ensures the state will have a budget in place for the new fiscal year that begins Saturday.

"This budget provides money to repair our roads and bridges, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide Medi-Cal health care for millions of Californians," Brown said in a written statement released by his office.

The budget boosts total state and local spending on K-12 education and community colleges to $74.5 billion, roughly $11,000 per pupil in the coming school year. It also increases funding for the University of California and Cal State University systems, and provides additional money for preschool and child care programs.

Brown and lawmakers agreed to devote a portion of new tobacco tax dollars to higher payments for doctors and dentists that treat patients in Medi-Cal, the state's healthcare program for the poor. Divvying up the dollars generated by last fall's Proposition 56 was among one of the most contentious issues during spring budget negotiations.

The budget sets aside additional money in the state's rainy-day reserve fund, growing the contingency account to $8.5 billion.

Brown, who rarely uses his line-item veto power in trimming budgets, left entirely intact the plan ratified by the Legislature on June 15.

While the governor signed 15 budget-related bills Tuesday, a handful of other related bills have yet to make their way to his desk. Those include a plan to make an extra $6-billion payment to the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, borrowing the money from surplus state revenues. The plan was approved by the state Senate on Monday. - Read More

Gov. Jerry Brown approves a $183-billion state budget, though a few details are unfinished


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