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Assembly Dems Lay Out Budget Priorities

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio / File

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio / File

With the California Legislature’s June 15th constitutional budget deadline just three weeks away, Assembly Democrats are laying out their proposal.

Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) says caucus priorities include more money for preschool, child care and after school programs. The proposal would also raise Medi-Cal provider rates and allow first-year community college students to attend classes tuition-free.

“For us, it’s about protecting those Californians who are most vulnerable – those who are working and those who are low-income – and we want to persist with our vision,” Ting says. “We got a very robust budget that we feel continues to push California values – but at the same time, is very fiscally responsible.”

Assembly Democrats also want to split the University of California president’s office budget off from the rest of the UC system. That’s a response to a recent state audit that raised concerns with how the UC president’s office tracks its spending.

Assembly Democrats would spend about two billion dollars more than the budget proposal Gov. Jerry Brown released earlier this month – which they say is offset by lower spending in the current fiscal year.

Senate Democrats are putting the finishing touches on their own budget proposal, which is also likely to call for more spending than the governor. The Senate plan also calls for expanding health insurance to young adults – ages 19-to-26 – who are living in California illegally.

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 

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