SACRAMENTO — Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the budget at night in his Capitol office with only a few aides and a photographer to keep him company.

This year there's going to be a more festive atmosphere — he's holding a news conference Thursday with top Democratic lawmakers.

Once Brown signs his name, the $96.3-billion spending plan will take effect Monday.  He is also expected to sign legislation expanding the state's healthcare program for the poor, part of President Obama's national overhaul.

The new budget includes much of what Brown sought at the beginning of the year, including a sweeping plan to shift some education funding from wealthy schools to districts with large numbers of poor students and English learners.

Democratic lawmakers also convinced the governor to lay the groundwork for more spending on social services, university tuition assistance and mental health care in future years. 

After Thursday's news conference, which is scheduled for 11 a.m., administration officials will detail whether the governor has issued any line-item vetoes.

Brown reached a deal on the budget with Democratic lawmakers earlier this month. However, they have continued to tweak the spending plan after it was approved by the Legislature June 14.

A provision that would weaken California's public records laws was removed after an outcry from activists and media organizations. And there were ongoing negotiations over another budget-related bill that would reduce the power of leaders at the Public Utilities Commission.

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Twitter: @chrismegerian