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Highlights of the Democratic spending plan

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POSTED June 11, 2013 7:58 p.m.

 

 

 


 

Here are details of California's compromise spending plan negotiated between Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders ahead of Saturday's budget deadline:

REVENUE:

— Lawmakers will vote this week on a $96.3 billion state spending plan for the new fiscal year starting July 1. It maintains a $1.1 billion reserve and pays down some of the debt accrued during the recession.

On Monday, the Joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee adopted the governor's more conservative revenue projection, rather than one from the Legislative Analyst's Office that was $3.2 billion higher.

EDUCATION:

— Brown secured $2.1 billion to begin moving to a new K-12 funding formula that would channel additional money to school districts with high levels of low-income students and those with limited English proficiency. The formula gives more money to school districts with higher proportions of children in those groups but met resistance from advocates for suburban and wealthier districts.

The governor agreed to a compromise that provides extra funding under a so-called concentration grant given to districts in which 55 percent of the students are deemed economically disadvantaged. All schools would receive a higher base grant from the state, a provision meant to placate school districts that do not have high proportions of those students.

— School districts also will get more control of how to spend state aid, but lawmakers say they are inserting provisions to ensure accountability.

— The compromise includes $1.2 billion in one-time money for districts to implement the "common core" standards, which are more rigorous academically and are intended to better prepare students for college and work. That amount is $250 million more than the governor had proposed. The money can be spent as districts choose on teacher training, instructional materials, technology and other uses.

— Provides $250 million for career technical education grants to K-14 education on a one-time basis.

MEDICAID:

— County governments will receive $300 million less from the state in the 2013-14 fiscal year as a result of the state expanding its Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, to some 1.4 million Californians next year under President Barack Obama's health care reforms.

County officials and health care advocates argued against the cuts because California will still have 3 million to 4 million uninsured residents requiring care after the Medicaid expansion. Brown argued that the state would be paying twice if it did not reduce those payments — for providing coverage under the Medicaid expansion that will be funded by the federal government while maintaining the same level of county support for indigent health care services.

Under the compromise, some of the savings will be kept at the local level to pay for welfare programs.

OTHER ISSUES:

— Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg pressed for increased mental health care funding, particularly money to expand residential treatment bed capacity. The compromise budget would provide that money.

Steinberg also sought $131 million to restore adult dental care for 3 million Medi-Cal recipients, which would allow the poor to receive preventive dental care and dentures. The compromise would partially restore adult dental benefits at a lower level than Democratic lawmakers had wanted. It would cost the state $16.9 million this fiscal year and $77 million in the next year.

— Assembly Speaker John Perez wanted to restore welfare assistance and child care for the working poor. The compromise increases child care and preschool funding by more than $100 million and provides a 5 percent child grant increase starting in March for families on CalWORKS, the state's welfare-to-work program.

The state will also allow a CalWORKS recipient to own a car valued up to $9,500, which is double the current limit, in order to qualify for benefits.

— Perez received initial funding for college scholarships for students whose families earn less than $150,000 a year, known as a middle-class scholarship. California would establish a Middle Class Scholarship program beginning in the 2014 academic year. At the administration's insistence, the scholarship appropriation would be capped at $305 million annually once it is fully implemented.

— The budget plan calls for restoring $63 million to the state court system, although some lawmakers had wanted $100 million.

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Source: California Legislature.

 

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