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Gov. Jerry Brown To Unveil State Budget: Spending Expected To Increase

Lawmakers must pass a spending plan by June 15 so it can be signed into law and enacted by July 1.

Gov. Jerry Brown/File photo
Gov. Jerry Brown/File photo

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to unveil a state budget today that provides for new spending on schools, healthcare, social services and environmental programs as California reaps the benefits of an economic turnaround.

The governor planned to hold a news conference in downtown L.A starting at 3 p.m. The budget announcement was initially scheduled for Friday, but the 271-page blueprint was leaked, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The governor's $155 billion blueprint would increase general-fund spending by more than 8 percent to $106.8 billion, according to The Times. The bulk of new money would go to schools and community colleges, which are poised to receive $10 billion more through the state's education funding formula. Some of that money was withheld in recent years as officials struggled to balance the budget.

Brown also wants to repay $11 billion in debts incurred during years of state financial crisis, and he would stash $1.6 billion in a reserve fund as a buffer against future economic turmoil.

"Wisdom and prudence should be the order of the day," Brown wrote in an introductory message, according to The Times.

The document also contains policy prescriptions that could draw controversy. Brown wants to make it easier for local governments to issue bonds to pay for public-works projects, and, according to The Times, he has reversed his opposition to releasing some elderly, sick and other low-risk inmates to help meet court-ordered limits on the state prison population.

Lawmakers must pass a spending plan by June 15 so it can be signed into law and enacted by July 1.

Administration officials now expect a $4.2 billion surplus by the end of June as opposed to the $26.6 billion deficit Brown encountered when he took office in 2011. --City News Service   

Toni McAllister January 09, 2014 at 02:00 PM
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement Thursday morning on Governor Brown's proposed budget: “This budget builds upon California’s recommitment to ensuring that every child graduates with the tools they need to succeed in the society and economy they will find outside their classrooms. When the voters passed Proposition 30 in 2012, they put our schools back on track after several years and billions of dollars of budget cuts. With this new plan, we continue down that path. Per-pupil spending continues to climb—with additional funding for the most vulnerable of our students under the Local Control Funding Formula. And schools face the prospect of starting the next school year with billions of dollars of deferrals finally repaid. “I thank the Governor for making education a top priority in the budget. It means a strong starting point for the coming months’ conversations—but work remains to be done. I look forward to discussing with Governor Brown universal transitional kindergarten—opening the door to this early learning opportunity for every 4-year-old in California. We must continue our support for schools as they make the switch to the Common Core State Standards—a smart choice for preparing our children for college and careers, and one that will benefit from professional development, improved technology, and new materials. “Californians across the state know that children deserve every tool and opportunity to thrive inside the classroom and out. I’ll continue working with Governor Brown and the Legislature over the next six months to make sure that education remains the top priority in the state budget.”

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