Capitol Alert

This time for real: Legislature passes (another) budget

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, talks with Sens. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, and Ted Gaines, R-Roseville on Monday, June 14, 2015.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, talks with Sens. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, and Ted Gaines, R-Roseville on Monday, June 14, 2015. hector@hectoramezcua.com

Three days after Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders reached agreement on a $115.4 billion general fund state spending plan, lawmakers in both houses on Friday ratified the deal.

The budget includes Brown’s more conservative revenue estimates and lower overall spending levels, while increasing funding for preschool and universities and expanding Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented children starting in May 2016.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, said the budget contained “unprecedented gains” in education and social services. The budget also won support from some Senate Republicans, while one Senate Democrat, Holly Mitchell, refused to vote on it. She said the budget did too little to help people living in poverty.

In the lower house, the bill passed almost entirely along party lines, with every Republican except for Rocky Chávez of Oceanside voting against it.

Democrats in the Legislature passed a more expansive spending plan on Monday, knowing Brown would not accept it but racing to meet a June 15 deadline or forfeit pay. They announced a budget agreement the following day on a more modest plan.

While Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, praised the revised budget bill for hewing to Brown's more conservative revenue estimates, she said it redirected education funding to other areas and failed to adequately fund transportation infrastructure or more judges, a major issue in her Riverside County district.

Lawmakers in both houses were continuing to debate a raft of budget-related trailer bills.

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