Democrats, Gov. Jerry Brown Arrive at California Budget Deal
Setting the stage for a tough campaign to raise taxes, Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday announced a budget deal with “more difficult cuts,” squeezing another $1 billion from the state’s safety-net for the poor.
Most welfare-to-work recipients will get cut off state assistance after two years — instead of four — if they are not meeting tough federal work requirements.
And the state will eliminate the Healthy Families medical program that serves low-income children. Instead, nearly 1 million youths will be shifted over the next three years to Medi-Cal to help close a $15.7 billion deficit and eliminate future shortfalls with the permanent changes to safety-net programs.
The deal ends a showdown over the last $1 billion in cuts needed to balance the budget. Legislators on Friday had approved a main $92 billion spending plan to meet the June 15 constitutional deadline and avoid forfeiting their own paychecks.
It cut short speculation that Brown would veto a budget bill for a second straight year and gave Democrats a chance to crow about an on-time budget as they head into the campaign season.