New budget to pump more money into social programs
California's newly approved $156.4-billion budget for the fiscal starting July 1 will pump more money into the state's social services system, including education.
The budget will provide more money for expanding preschools for children of low-income families, for public universities as well as for welfare payments.
The spending plan states that $264 million will be spend on creating 11,500 new preschool slots for children of low-income families by June of next year, with another 31,500 preschool slots to be created in the following years. The government will also provide grants of $50 million for various preschool programs, and additional $69 million will be spent to boost reimbursement rates for ensuring early learning training for childcare providers.
The lawmakers approved the budget plan after months of political wrangling as Democratic leaders had been demanding Gov. Jerry Brown to restore spending on social programs to promote welfare. Spending on social programs was slashed deeply during the past recession.
Commenting on the spending plan, Senate Budget Chairman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said, "This is a much brighter day than what we've seen in years past."
The spending plan is actually a compromise between the administration of Gov. Brown and Democrats. While the administration agreed to spend more on social programs, Democrats agreed to set aside $250 million for the state's controversial bullet train project in the next fiscal year. In the following years, the project will receive 25 per cent of cap-and-trade revenue annually.
The spending plan will now go to Gov. Brown, who has until the end of this month to sign it. He can veto any spending he dislikes.
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