SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latest on the California Legislature’s budget debate (all times local):
California lawmakers have sent a $125 billion budget that boosts money for education and social services to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
The Legislature’s Thursday vote to pass the one-year spending plan comes largely along party lines, with just a handful of Republicans supporting it.
Democratic lawmakers say the budget will help alleviate poverty while building savings to weather a future economic downturn.
Republicans say it fails to adequately prepare for a recession and reneges on promises made to voters about increasing payments for doctors and dentists who treat low-income patients on Medi-Cal.
The plan also imposes new financial restrictions and enrollment targets on the University of California following a scathing audit that questioned administrators’ use of money.
Lawmakers have also sent policy changes on marijuana, immigration and the rules around recall elections to Brown’s desk.
California lawmakers are approving a plan to strip most of the power from an elected board that collects about a third of California’s revenue.
The measure cleared the Assembly and Senate on Thursday despite objections from Republicans and some Democrats who say the bill will make it harder for small businesses to win tax disputes.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders proposed vastly restricting the authority of the Board of Equalization. The power to decide tax disputes and to collect many taxes and fees would be transferred to new state departments run by Brown appointees.
A state audit shows the agency misallocated tens of millions of dollars and made unusual moves like using tax auditors for “parking lot duty” at a promotional event.
California lawmakers have moved to quash the growth of immigration detention in the state, dealing a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to boost deportations.
A budget bill passed Thursday will prevent local governments from signing or expanding contracts with federal authorities for immigration detention facilities. It also calls for the state’s attorney general to review conditions at California’s immigration detention centers.
There are nine such facilities in California. Most operate under contracts with local governments.
The move comes as immigrant-friendly California pushes back on President Donald Trump’s plans to increase deportations.
Immigrant advocates hope the measure will slow the growth of detention even though detainees can be sent to out-of-state facilities. But Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher of Yuba City says the bill would strain local law enforcement financially.
California lawmakers are backing new marijuana rules as the state prepares for its legal pot market to start next year.
The Assembly and Senate voted overwhelmingly to send SB94 to Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it.
Under the measure, California would set standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs and permit home deliveries. It’s the result of months of negotiations between Brown, lawmakers and marijuana businesses to merge the state’s new recreational marijuana law with the longstanding medical marijuana program.
Legislation approved Thursday includes $118 million to pay for startup costs for the newly regulated industry, including technology and staff to work on regulations and issue licenses.
California doctors and dentists will get a raise for treating low-income patients under legislation headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The Legislature voted Thursday to spend $546 million on higher payments for health care providers using revenue from a $2-per-pack tobacco tax increase approved by voters last year. It’s one of many budget bills up for debate.
Brown proposed using the tobacco tax money to pay for normal growth in the Medi-Cal program, the publicly funded health plan for the poor. But doctors and dentists say voters were promised the money would boost payments for providers so more of them would accept Medi-Cal patients.
The compromise reached by Brown and lawmakers uses about half of the $1.2 billion in new Medi-Cal funds for higher provider payments.
The measure also includes $50 million for family planning services including Planned Parenthood.
California lawmakers are scheduled to vote Thursday on a budget that increases spending on education and social services while imposing new financial restrictions on the University of California.
The $125 billion general fund spending plan, which was negotiated by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders, is expected to easily clear the Democratically controlled Legislature.
Lawmakers will also vote on a series of budget “trailer bills” that make changes in immigration, marijuana and other policy areas.
Democrats say the budget will help alleviate poverty and stands up for immigrants in the face of President Donald Trump’s tough rhetoric on illegal immigration. Republicans have blasted unrelated measures tucked into the budget, such as plan to change the rules for removing lawmakers from office and a proposal to strip most authority from an elected tax board.