SACRAMENTO – The Legislature and Governor on Tuesday reached an agreement on the 2015-16 state budget. Tomorrow, June 19, the Legislature will vote on the budget agreement and convene in two special sessions to reach timely, bipartisan and comprehensive solutions on infrastructure and health care.
The budget reflects Assembly Democrats’ priorities, including reducing poverty, restoring funding for schools and early childhood education, improving higher education funding, building reserves, and paying down debt.
Building Reserves and Paying Down Debts:
- This budget builds total reserves by over $4.6 billion and pays down $1.9 billion in budgetary debts.
- If revenues grow more in line with the LAO projection, than with the Department of Finance numbers that this budget is based on, then reserves will grow even higher.
- The debt reduction and healthy reserves puts the state in strong fiscal shape in case of future drops in revenue.
Investing in Schools and Early Education:
- California schools and students remain a top priority for Assembly Democrats.
- This budget has more than $14 billion in new funding over last year’s budget for schools and community colleges in onetime and ongoing money.
- This budget includes $500 million for a one-time teacher effectiveness block grant to help improve performance in the classroom.
Increasing CCC, CSU, UC, and Financial Aid funding:
- Assembly Democrats are committed to improving funding for higher education and making college more accessible and affordable for California families.
- This budget provides an additional $97 million to CSU and an additional $25 million to UC, contingent upon increasing enrollment for California students and capping enrollment for out-of-state 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.
- The Assembly has been working to make sure that no one who works a full time job is living in poverty.
- The budget includes $380 million for a state Earned Income Tax Credit that will benefit over two million Californians and lift approximately 50,000 out of poverty and another 50,000 out of deep poverty.
- 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.
In addition, the budget agreement provides $40 million to fund Medi-Cal services for children regardless of immigration status effective May 1, 2016.
The budget also funds Veterans Services, Seismic Safety Improvements, Arts Council Funding, local Public Safety and more.
Website of the Assembly Democratic Caucus: www.asmdc.org
CONTACT: John Casey, (916) 319-2408