California Priorities, Fiscal Prudence.
The Budget passed by the Legislature invests money where we need it most and plans for hard times. It goes to great lengths to smooth the boom-and-bust cycle that can be brought about by uncertain revenue streams in down years, and ensures that permanent spending is not locked in when it won’t be available for the long haul.
Included in the spending plan are unprecedented reserves, including an extra $2 billion in the Rainy Day Fund above what is required, for a total of $8.5 billion.
Compromise with the Governor
This budget is a compromise between the Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown. It accepts the overall framework of the Governor’s May Revision, but it does include improvements that represent key priorities of the Assembly Speaker and the Democratic Caucus. These include:
- The repeal of the Maximum Family Grant, so that parents are no longer penalized simply for being poor;
- An increase of more than $530 million for child care and preschool funding;
- $100 million for three years of funding the Primary Care Residency Program so that California trained doctors can remain in California;
- An effort to keep low-income families from losing everything when a loved one dies after a long illness where the treatment was paid for by Medi-Cal;
- An increase of funding for both CSU and UC to expand enrollment of California students; and
- A dedicated $400 million set-aside for affordable housing.
The agreement also keeps in place from the May Revision the historic minimum wage increase, the modest grant adjustments for those on Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment and CalWorks, and funds for mental health under Prop. 63.
The University of California has been seeing fewer Californians able to attend.
$20 million in one-time funding and $18.5 million in ongoing funding is contingent upon the UC Regents enacting a new policy to reduce the percentage of out of state students over time and by enrolling an additional 2,500 California students for the 2017-18 year.
Additionally, the Budget addresses the critical shortfall in the CSU by an additional $25 million in one-time funding over the Governor’s proposed $25 million, and $12.5 million in ongoing funding to increase enrollment and reduce time to graduation.
The budget includes $200 million in one-time Prop 98 funds for college readiness programs at k-12 schools.
Governor Brown has until June 30 to sign the Budget.