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Brown Signs All 27 Budget Bills; Line-Item Vetos Hit Child Care, Parks

Aired 6/28/12 on KPBS News.

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed all 27 bills that will encompass the state budget for the fiscal year that starts on Sunday. He also issued nearly $200 million in line-item vetoes – about $130 million of which are to the state’s general fund.

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed all 27 bills that will encompass the state budget for the fiscal year that starts on Sunday. He also issued nearly $200 million in line-item vetoes – about $130 million of which are to the state’s general fund.

Among his most significant blue pencil items that the governor issued late Wednesday evening:

  • $15 million to the Department of Education’s Early Mental Health Initiative
  • $30 million to state preschool programs (equivalent to 12,500 kids’ slots)
  • $10 million to child nutrition programs for school districts, county offices of education and charter schools
  • $4.7 million to In-Home Supportive Services administration
  • A total of $54 million ($23 million general fund, $31 million non-general fund) to the state’s food stamp program known as CalFresh
  • $20 million to child care programs (which increases the number of slots eliminated from 10,600 in the legislature’s budget to 14,000 in the final budget)
  • $22.6 million to college financial aid, resulting in a 5 percent across-the-board reduction to CalGrants awards. Students at private and for-profit schools will see their tuition grants reduced. Public university students will see their living expenses cut.

The governor also cut at least $41 million to state parks – money the legislature proposed transferring from special funds. Brown said some of that money is already being used for other important purposes – and some would violate an agreement with the federal government. But he left $10 million available to help transition parks on the state’s closure list to other operators and another $13 million in state bond funds to modernize revenue collection systems.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said he’s particularly disappointed with the line-item vetoes to child care and parks, but they “could have been much deeper. I don’t like it, but I’m prepared to move on.”

Lawmakers involved in the state parks proposal were particularly upset with the governor. “It’s a slap in the face to all Californians who love their state parks,” said Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa). “I think they want to turn parks over to private operators – whether that’s non-profit or for-profit operators – and they don’t want to do anything that would get in the way of doing that.”

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