There’s finally a California budget deal at the state Capitol – just two days before the vote scheduled for the legislature’s constitutional deadline.
In a joint statement with Democratic legislative leaders, Governor Jerry Brown calls the state’s $156 billion-spending plan “solid and sustainable.”
But many progressive groups are deeply frustrated that Democratic lawmakers didn’t hold out for more money in health and social services programs. Vanessa Aramayo with the California Partnership says lawmakers should “grow a little bit more spine.”
“These are some restorations that are being made, but they are very, very incremental," says Aramayo. "These are baby steps in a time and a place where we’re supposed to be restoring a safety net.”
Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says the budget maintains fiscal stability while also making significant new investments in preschool, child care, infrastructure and more.
“Even though you can’t get it all done in one year, the real test is whether every year you make substantial progress," says Steinberg.
The legislature will vote on at least part of the budget deal on Sunday.
Read the full statement from Brown's office below:
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins today released the following statements on the state budget:
“The leaders of the Legislature have worked very hard to build a solid and sustainable budget that pays down debt, brings stability to the teachers’ pension system and builds at long last a reliable Rainy Day Fund,” said Governor Brown.
“This budget proves once again that negotiation and cooperation can achieve a great outcome. This budget pays off debt, puts money in the Rainy Day Fund and invests in many priorities, with a clear focus on our children. We’re expanding preschool for our youngest and career pathway programs for our older students,” said pro Tem Steinberg. “In addition, we’re changing the course of our failed corrections system with better solutions to help offenders become productive citizens, and making smart investments to fight climate change with permanent funding for mass transit and affordable housing. I want to thank the Governor, my Senate colleagues and the Assembly for working so well together in reaching an agreement that strikes a solid balance of avoiding the deficits of the past while creating a brighter future for Californians.”
“For the first time in almost a decade we make real investments in our people. We help reduce child poverty, so every child can learn and grow to reach their greatest potential, and we improve preschool, and child care for working families,” said Speaker Atkins. “The budget reinforces our commitment to the veterans who have served our country, and to the students who will write the next chapters of our country’s history. Just as important, we invest in California’s infrastructure and significantly boost affordable housing, which not only makes life better for families, it helps create jobs. We were able to make these investments while reducing the debt hanging over our head and building a strong reserve for emergencies. For years California’s budgets were about getting out of a hole. This budget is about building a foundation for the future.”