California has its new budget for the fiscal year that starts on Monday.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the $96 billion general fund spending plan today at the State Capitol with Democratic legislative leaders at his side.
The governor said the budget is balanced and responsible – while still investing in education and health care.
“We know that for the last 10 years, that there’s been boom and bust. In fact, going back for 40 years, it’s been the sorry tale of most governors to leave town with a ton of red ink. I don’t want to do that,” said Brown.
The budget includes the governor’s sweeping overhaul to the formula that funds California schools. Districts with high numbers of low-income students and English language learners will receive more money than they do now.
Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says it’s a budget that shows “great progress” after years of spending cuts.
“The numbers – the balanced numbers – matter, for they represent fiscal stability. But we also celebrate the fact today that real people, hurt for so long, will get some help,” says Steinberg.
The spending plan relies on the governor’s more cautious revenue estimates and includes a reserve of just over a $1 billion. It also includes new spending for several programs pushed by legislative Democrats, such as middle class college scholarships and mental health care.
The governor did issue about $40 million in line-item vetoes – with the bulk of cuts to special education and preschool programs. That’s a small amount compared to last year’s vetoes, which totaled nearly 200 million dollars.