More money for schools, a “rainy day fund” constitutional amendment and paying back a whole lot of debt. Those are the highlights of California Governor Jerry Brown’s new state budget – a proposal that leaked out two days before its planned Friday release.
The budget obtained by Capital Public Radio projects that the state now has a $4.6 billion surplus for the current and upcoming fiscal years. That’s compared to a $25 billion deficit three years ago when Governor Brown was sworn in.
Among the headlines:
- K-through-12 schools and community colleges would get more than six billion dollars above what they’re getting this year.
- The state would spend an extra 670 million dollars on expanding Medi-Cal under the federal health care law.
- There’s more than 800 million dollars set aside for infrastructure projects – from state parks and highways to schools, courts and prisons.
- And there’s a five percent increase in welfare grants.
Brown also wants to codify a budget reserve in the state’s constitution … replacing an existing law that’s not considered to be effective and a separate proposal – disliked by Democrats – that’s currently scheduled for the November ballot.
The governor originally planned to unveil the budget Friday, but just announced he’ll present Thursday at 9 a.m. after a copy was leaked Wednesday afternoon.
Note: A previous version of this story had a different figure for the budget surplus. The Department of Finance's projected two-year budget surplus is at $4.6 billion.
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