SACRAMENTO — After months of public hearings and backroom negotiations, the state budget will be up for a vote in the Legislature on Friday.
Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers reached a deal on the budget earlier this week, and staff have been rapidly drafting hundreds of pages of legislation to turn their plans into law.
Debate over the budget and several related bills is expected to last all day and could spill over into Saturday, which is the deadline for the Legislature to approve a new spending plan. Brown will have until the end of the month to sign it into law.
The budget includes much of what Brown wanted, especially a wide-ranging plan to redistribute education money to help needier school districts. The new formula will send more funding to districts where more than 55% of the students are poor are English learners.
Brown also convinced lawmakers to use his more conservative revenue estimates, which were $3.2 billion smaller than projections from the nonpartisan legislative analyst.
However, he shifted parts of his original budget blueprint to accommodate some new funding pushed by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. The budget includes or lays the groundwork for hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending on welfare grants, mental health, tuition aid, dental care for poor adults and other programs.
Much of the extra spending won't start until next spring or summer, allowing the economy to continue improving before the money starts to flow. Next year could also see raises for roughly 95,000 employees in California's largest state worker union.
Brown's plans for higher education didn't make the cut for this year's budget. The governor wanted to tie some money for universities to requirements for improvements in areas like graduation rates and the number of low-income students enrolled.
But key lawmakers joined with officials at the University of California and California State University to oppose the proposal. A spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance said he will revisit the topic later this year.
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