The Latest: Budget offers sizable spending boost for schools

Jan 7, 2016 2:57 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The latest on Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed California budget:

11:43 a.m.

California's public schools and community colleges are seeing sizable funding increases for the second year in a row as state tax revenues soar during the economic recovery.

Gov. Jerry Brown released his proposed spending plan for 2016-17 on Thursday. It includes $71.6 billion in general fund money for K-12 education and community colleges.

That's $2.4 billion more than the current year and more than $24 billion above what the state spent during the depths of the recession.

The general fund infusion would boost per-pupil spending in public schools to $10,591 in 2016-17. The Democratic governor also wants to direct money from other sources to compensate schools for earlier lean years.

Brown's proposal also would keep tuition flat at University of California and California State University schools.


11:20 a.m.

Republicans are responding to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal for a $122.6 billion general fund spending plan.

Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes, of Yucca Valley, says Democrats should listen to the independent legislative analyst and the Democratic governor, who have both warned about overspending during boom times.

Brown has generally sought to restrain spending, sometimes clashing with fellow Democrats in the state Legislature who have called for expanding social welfare programs.

He proposed $122.6 billion in spending from the state's general fund on Thursday that would send billions more to schools, health care and infrastructure.

Republican Assemblyman Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita says Brown's budget is "not fiscally responsible."

He says the spending plan does not do enough to pay down debts or invest in road and water infrastructure.


10:57 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget again offers a transportation funding plan that seeks new fees and taxes to help repair the state's crumbling roads.

The budget, released Thursday, would raise $2 billion from a new $65 fee on all vehicles. It also would make changes to gasoline and diesel taxes to generate $1 billion annually.

Experts have estimated that the state needs to invest $6 billion each year to maintain deteriorating transportation infrastructure.

The $65 fee would apply to electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles, which pay less in taxes because they don't use as much gasoline as other cars.

Over 10 years, Brown's $36 billion transportation proposal would allocate $16 billion to maintain and repair highways and $13.5 billion for local roads. The balance would help trade corridors and transit.


10:30 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown's 2016-17 budget proposal includes a new tax on health insurers to replace a tax expiring this year.

The expiration would leave a potential $1.1 billion hole in the budget. Brown says he's been working with insurers and has reached a compromise on the new tax that would be in place for three years.

The Brown administration says the package results in a net decrease in taxes for the private health care industry, protecting funding for the state's health insurance program for the poor.

Republicans have resisted approving such a tax. Brown said Thursday that he hopes Republicans can support it as a good indication of collaboration in the future.

He also tied the tax to increases in services for the developmentally disabled, which Republicans support.


10:00 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing a $122.6 billion budget plan for California's next fiscal year.

The Democratic governor announced his proposal at a news conference Thursday. It includes a $1.1 billion compromise on a new tax on health insurers to replace one that will expire in June.

It also increases per-pupil spending to $10,591. Schools are guaranteed about 40 percent of general fund revenues under voter-approved Proposition 98.

Brown's 2016-17 proposal reflects his efforts to balance fiscal restraint with increasing demands for California to invest in social service and health care programs that were cut during the recession.

Thursday's announcement sets the stage for a months-long debate with lawmakers over spending priorities.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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