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California Legislature Approves $123 Billion Spending Plan


UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: The California state Legislature approved Wednesday a $123 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts in July.

Democratic Senate leader Kevin de Léon says lawmakers in his party won funding for some long-held priorities.

"We pushed and we pushed hard to make sure we make investments in the most vulnerable communities in California," he says.

The spending plan includes more money for child care programs, affordable housing and in-state enrollment at UCs. It repeals a 90’s-era cap on welfare payments that discouraged recipients from having more children.

The budget also transfers $2 billion above the legal requirement to the state’s reserves — a key priority of Governor Jerry Brown.

The vote split almost entirely along party lines.

Republican Assemblyman Jay Obernolte says the 6 percent increase in General Fund spending is too high.

“Consider the fact that inflation in the state of California has only been running around 2 percent for the last couple of years,” Obernolte says. “It just takes basic, high school arithmetic to prove that that’s an unsustainable level of spending.”

In a tweet, the governor praised lawmakers for passing the budget—although, their work isn’t entirely done.

They’ll vote on other pieces of the spending plan—called “trailer bills”—in coming days.

That includes measures to build housing for the homeless and to extend a hospital fee—both of which will require two-thirds votes, and therefore, Republican support.

Original Post: California lawmakers will send a state budget to Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday.

They’re expected to convene in the afternoon to debate the deal agreed to last week by the governor and Democratic legislative leaders.

But although lawmakers are required to send the governor a budget by midnight, the June 15 constitutional deadline, they won’t be voting on the entire spending plan Wednesday.

The Legislature is technically only required to send the governor a budget bill. Even though passing the spending plan also involves passing more than a dozen accompanying "trailer bills," the bills that implement the state budget deal, lawmakers will only vote on some of them Wednesday. They'll take up the rest in the coming days.

The agreement would limit spending to levels proposed by Gov. Brown, but also makes new investments in several Democratic priorities, such as child care, welfare and affordable housing.

 California Budget 2016

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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