- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $122.2 billion general fund spending plan Friday that sets the stage for a months-long debate with the Legislature over budget priorities.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers in Brown’s plan:


Under voter-approved Proposition 98, public schools are guaranteed $71.9 billion, the biggest slice of state revenue. It’s an increase of $2.8 billion over the current year and more than $24 billion higher than state spending at the depth of the recession. The proposed budget also adds $100 million to repair unsafe school facilities, $135 million for schools’ discretionary needs and $10 million for teacher credential programs.

Brown wants to direct additional money to public schools, bringing per-pupil spending to nearly $14,700 in 2016-17, an increase of nearly $500 per student over the current year. Higher education would also see an increase to $30 billion.


Spending on Medi-Cal would hold fairly steady at about $17.7 billion as the state anticipates 13.5 million enrollees. That’s nearly a third of California’s population, and it includes about 185,000 children in the country illegally who can begin enrolling in full coverage starting Monday.


Brown proposed spending $3.6 billion-a-year over the next decade to address an estimated $59 billion backlog in road repairs. He wants to raise $2 billion from a new $65 fee on vehicles and increase gasoline and diesel taxes to generate $1 billion annually.


Brown wants to squirrel away $2 billion more than constitutionally required to prepare for the next economic downturn. If the Legislature agrees, the rainy day fund would total $8 billion by the end of the upcoming fiscal year.


The governor has endorsed a plan by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon to divert $2 billion earmarked for mental health services to develop permanent housing for homeless people. Brown’s budget did not include funding for a proposal from Assembly Democrats to spend $1.3 billion on affordable housing. That could be part of negotiations over the next month.


Spending on corrections would rise only slightly, to $10.6 billion from $10.4 billion in the current fiscal year. The governor’s revised budget adds $24.5 million for rehabilitation programs and $35.9 million for an electronic health records system. It includes about $39.4 million for community rehabilitation programs through a voter-approved lowering of penalties for some drug and property crimes.


Despite a wet winter in Northern California, the budget proposes spending $334 million to address drought in the coming fiscal year. It would add $41 million for tree removal in high-risk fire areas and $10.4 million for new firefighting helicopters. Brown also included $10 million for a Republican proposal for emergency drinking water in small communities.


Source: California Department of Finance.

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