On Sunday, the Democratic-dominated state legislature in California approved the new fiscal year’s $108 billion general fund spending plan. State bill SB852 passed 55-24 in the Assembly and 25-11 in the Senate, largely along party lines. The legislature met on Father’s Day because there was a June 15 constitutional deadline to send a balanced budget to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The new plan, which goes into effect July 1, satisfies Brown’s interest in a rainy day fund and also paying off some of the state’s debt while also pleasing the legislators, who wanted programs benefiting lower-income Californians. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, (D-Berkeley), trumpeted that the money will be invested in programs for preschool for low-income 4-year-olds as well as child care.
GOP legislators criticized the additional spending. They asserted the extra spending is risky if a recession eventuates, and they want to remind the public that the temporary tax increases now in place will expire in a few years.