SACRAMENTO—The California State Assembly today approved a revised version of the budget passed on Monday, which will now go to Governor Brown for action. If signed by July 1, this will be California’s fifth consecutive on-time, balanced budget.
“The budget we sent to the Governor today reflects many of the top priorities of Assembly Democrats,” said Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “This budget will reduce poverty, restore much-needed funding for schools and early childhood education, establish a state Earned Income Tax Credit that benefits over 2 million Californians and increases funding for higher education while building reserves and paying down debt. Although this budget addressed key issues, there is still more work to be done for the developmental disabilities community and on Medi-Cal rates, transportation and infrastructure, and I look forward to working with my Assembly colleagues, the Senate, and the Governor to resolve these important issues.”
AB 93, the 2015-16 amended budget agreement, passed out of the Assembly on a 53-26 vote and goes to the Governor for his signature.
Debt Reduction: This budget builds total reserves to over $4.6 billion and pays down $1.9 billion in budgetary debts.
Schools and Early Education: This budget has more than $14 billion in new funding over last year’s budget for schools and community colleges in one-time and ongoing money. This budget includes $500 million for a one-time teacher effectiveness block grant to help improve performance in the classroom. This budget includes $265 million to fund 7,000 additional preschool slots and 6,800 child care slots, plus a rate increase for all providers.
Higher Education: This budget provides an additional $97 million to CSU and an additional $25 million to UC, with the UC funding contingent upon increasing enrollment for California students. This budget expands the number of Competitive Cal Grants by almost 15% and will lower tuition at CSU and UC for middle income families by 20% through the Assembly-championed Middle Class Scholarship.
Poverty: The budget includes $380 million for a state Earned Income Tax Credit that will benefit over 2 million Californians and lift approximately 50,000 out of poverty and another 50,000 out of deep poverty.
Health Care: In addition, the budget agreement provides $40 million to fund Medi-Cal services for children regardless of immigration status effective May 1, 2016.
Two areas that had been included in the budget previously passed by the Legislature -- increased funding for developmental disabilities programs and increasing the state’s Medi-Cal reimbursement rate -- will instead be addressed in special legislative sessions along with transportation infrastructure funding. Those special sessions officially convened today.