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Highlights of budget deal between Brown, Democrats

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POSTED June 21, 2012 8:56 p.m.



Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders announced a deal Thursday for closing out remaining issues in California's budget. The governor demanded deeper cuts to help deal with the state's projected $15.7 billion deficit after lawmakers passed a $92 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The latest agreement contained only broad outlines and few hard dollars. The new cuts include:

—CalWORKS: Phase in a two-year time limit for new recipients to find work in the state's welfare-to-work program. Currently, parents on welfare have four years before they risk losing cash aid. The governor backed off his proposal for a 27 percent cut to cash aid for families where only the children qualify for assistance.

—Healthy Families: Eliminate the children's health insurance program for low-income working families. Move the 880,000 children currently enrolled in Healthy Families into Medi-Cal, the state's version of Medicaid. Democratic leaders say the move would streamline health insurance for children for low-income families and save the state on administrative costs.

—Child Care: Reduce child care assistance by 8.7 percent, which will reduce the number of slots available to low-income families by 10,600. Cost-of-living adjustments will also be suspended through 2015.

—Cal Grants: Require tougher graduation rates for colleges and universities to qualify for state college aid. Reduce Cal Grants beginning in the 2013-14 school year from about $9,700 to $9,000. The grant is lowered again to $8,000 in 2014-15. Students planning to attend for-profit colleges like University of Phoenix will get even less financial aid, about $4,000.

Thursday's agreement removed some of the governor's proposals for deeper cuts and makes additional spending changes:

—In-Home Support: Brown agreed to back off a 7 percent across-the-board cut to the in-home supportive services program, which is designed to keep seniors and the disabled in their homes and out of more costly nursing homes. Democrats agreed to extend the current 3.6 percent cut.

—Redevelopment: Brown blocked a Democratic proposal to change the way the state distributes $250 million in redevelopment funding. The move would have reduced funding to counties.

—Courts: Brown and Democrats agreed to restructure court financing.

—Charter Schools: Brown and Democrats agreed to increase funding for charter school grants and change state law to improve operations, among other things.

Source: Governor's office, legislative staff.


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