California Budget Update: Democratic Leaders Reach Deal with Gov. Brown

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Governor Jerry Brown has finally reached a budget compromise with legislative leaders Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez. Brown, Steinberg, and Perez have been conducting a series of closed door meetings in which they sought to build consensus around how to trim state spending on social service programs. The initial level of cuts as proposed by Brown in his May California Budget Revise received immediate push back from Democratic leaders, and the journey toward compromise has been long and difficult.

The main budget bill passed by Legislators last week- in time to meet California’s constitutional deadline- glossed over details on how and where cuts would occur, as well as revenue and spending. Today’s agreement on final actions to be taken will be introduced as a budget trailer bill, and is expected for a vote next Tuesday.

In a joint statement released earlier today, the Governor and legislative leaders only confirmed that a final framework has been agreed upon, but failed to provide any additional details.

According to the release:

The conceptual agreement protects education, permanently reforms welfare and includes tough ongoing cuts. The Legislature will take final votes on the budget trailer bills in the coming days.

“This agreement strongly positions the state to withstand the economic challenges and uncertainties ahead,” said Governor Brown. “We have restructured and downsized our prison system, moved government closer to the people, made billions in difficult cuts and now the Legislature is poised to make even more difficult cuts and permanently reform welfare.”

“For the second straight year, California will benefit by having a budget in place before the end of the fiscal year,” said Steinberg. “As always, the negotiations were tough, but we move forward together with a state budget that’s structurally balanced, setting us on the path to putting this nagging deficit behind us.”

“We have worked cooperatively and productively with the Governor and our colleagues in the Senate to put forward a budget that reflects the commitment we made in January to eliminate the deficit, protect education and put California’s fiscal house in order by our Constitutional deadline,” said Speaker Pérez. “I am pleased the actions we will take in the coming days will see that important objective realized.”

Governor Brown has yet to sign the California budget as presented to him late last week, but is expected to do so now that a deal has been reached.

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