Wednesday, April 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Governor, lawmakers face weekend budget deadline

By
From page A2 | June 13, 2014 |

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers are trying to work out the final details of a budget for the coming fiscal year that largely adheres to the governor’s call for fiscal prudence while providing a modest boost to social and education programs.

Brown wants to dedicate much of the state’s budget surplus to a beefed-up rainy day fund and paying down state debts. But his fellow Democrats in the Legislature are pushing him to restore cuts to welfare, health care, child care and education.

Legislative floor votes on the main budget bill for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which starts July 1, are expected Sunday, the constitutional deadline for lawmakers to pass a balanced spending plan and avoid forfeiting their pay.

“We try to balance many objectives: fiscal balance, a healthy reserve, pay down debt and make some key investments in education, health and human services and other priorities,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said in an interview Wednesday. “To find that sweet spot is always hard.”

Brown has succeeded so far at fending off major spending proposals from members of his own party. The Legislature’s joint budget committee announced a plan late Wednesday to include $264 million for expanding early education programs for 4-year-olds, an amount far below what Democrats originally sought.

That would pay for an additional 11,500 preschool slots for low-income families by June 2015, with an additional 31,500 slots planned in the future. Additional funding would be provided in the form of grants to existing preschool programs, increased child-care reimbursement rates and professional training.

Combined with existing programs, the proposal would provide early education assistance to roughly 234,000 children, covering half of all 4-year-olds in the state. Even so, it falls well short of Steinberg’s original goal of spending $1 billion to provide preschool to all California children.

Steinberg acknowledged that he didn’t get as much as he proposed, but he said it was progress. “We have a lot to celebrate,” he said.

Democratic lawmakers had also sought more money for higher education than Brown had proposed. Under a compromise, the University of California and California State University systems will receive an additional $50 million each if property taxes come in higher than projections.

It remained unclear Thursday just how much more money would be allocated for other Democratic priorities, including in-home care for seniors and the disabled, welfare and Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for the poor. The legislative budget committee continued to work on remaining issues Thursday afternoon.

Democrats did secure flexibility in prison funding to spend tens of millions of dollars more on mental health services as a way to improve treatment and increase rehabilitation options.

The governor proposed a record $107.8 billion in spending from the general fund using more conservative revenue projections. Democrats, who control the Senate and Assembly, had wanted to use rosier estimates to restore services for the poor that were reduced during the recession, as California struggled to close multibillion-dollar budget shortfalls.

The governor and lawmakers already have agreed to a fresh version of the rainy day fund to smooth out the boom-and-bust cycles of state budgeting and begin paying down massive liabilities in the teachers’ pension system.

Brown and lawmakers reached agreement how the state will spend new revenue generated from pollution fees under the state’s cap-and-trade program.

The governor had wanted to use $250 million next fiscal year then commit 33 percent of ongoing fees for California’s bullet train, but the compromise presented to lawmakers Thursday reduces that to 25 percent. Lawmakers also will allocate portions of the pollution fees for affordable housing, public transit and energy-conservation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Such funding will help get more low-income people out of their cars and on to buses and light rail, said Shamus Roller, executive director of Housing California, an affordable housing advocacy group.

Even though the budget requires just a simple majority vote to pass the Legislature, Democrats were scrambling to negotiate details and meet Sunday’s deadline.

Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, criticized a hasty process that led to a budget committee hearing starting on Wednesday night without the Senate’s GOP member in attendance.

“That’s no way to run an institution,” Huff said Thursday on the Senate floor. “We should be embarrassed.”

Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said he was not aware of the incident that upset Huff. He said he expected the budget bill and companion legislation to be in print Friday with a vote starting Sunday afternoon.

————

By Judy Lin

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

 
 
Museum celebrates Easter with candy-filled eggs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Easter egg hunt set Sunday at Atria

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
AquaMonsters open summer registration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Woodland Library’s community room reopens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Odd Fellows will host a big birthday bash

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tamblyn presents a comedy concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Cancer fighters will gather Saturday for Relay For Life kickoff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Poet laureate emerita celebrates at book-release party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

UCD gets grant to look at open access to published research

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
AARP’s free tax-prep services continue

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
‘Sip and Shop’ kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Pain management lecture slated April 8

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Seniors invited to join new social group

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Pence Gallery: See artists at work during Garden Tour

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Is Davis on the cusp of an evolutionary change?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: B4

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

Groom’s parents overwhelmed

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Aggies get ready for Hawaii by rolling over St. Mary’s

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UC Davis represents well at Final Four in Indiana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Descalso looks back at Aggie days, ahead to new Rockies gig

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils drop softball game at CBS

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS younger girls soccer squad stomps Grant

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Nunez powers Aggies to softball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Gibson’s heroics ensure a DHS split at Boras Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10

.

Features

Spring is a busy time for honey and hives

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Bluesman and guitarist Buddy Guy comes to Davis

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Fiery bluesman brings guitar pyrotechnics to The Palms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics