State Spending Plan Renews Education and Social Service Funds

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From SCPR – AP:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a state spending plan for the coming fiscal year Thursday that makes budget-busting deficits a distant memory, funnels billions of additional dollars to K-12 schools and begins restoring social service programs that were cut during the recession.

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The budget also expands Medicaid to an additional 1.4 million low-income Californians, adopting an optional provision of the federal Affordable Care Act.

“This is a momentous occasion, because we have a balanced budget not proposed but actually actualized, the first time in probably a decade or more,” the governor said moments before signing the spending plan for the fiscal year that starts on Monday.

It includes a $96.3 billion general fund, the state’s main account for paying ongoing expenses. The size of the general fund and a reserve account of $1.1 billion reflect the continuing recovering of California’s economy and $6 billion in voter-approved taxes.

Declining tax revenue during the recession had cut the general fund to as low as $87 billion just two years ago, requiring lawmakers to make deep spending cuts.

The Democratic governor declared it “a big day” for public school students and those who have no health insurance or inadequate coverage.

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