Low Praises Budget Passage Which Supports Working Families in California

For immediate release:

Legislature passes on-time budget for fifth consecutive year

SACRAMENTO –The California State Assembly passed its 2015-16 budget bill today with a 52-28 vote. Assembly Bill 93 is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown who will have 12 days to sign or veto the bill. Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) issued the following statement after the vote:

“This on-time, balanced budget will build our state’s reserves and pay down debt. It brings opportunities and much needed resources to working families such as the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers and restoration of Medi-Cal benefits and services that were cut in previous years. Most importantly, the budget shows our state’s reinvestment and commitment to education by increasing Cal Grant B funding to benefit Community College students, as well as additional funding for preK-12 programs, California State University and University of California. The budget is reflective of the values and priorities of our community and allows us to build a strong future for the people of California.”

Key highlights of the budget are outlined below:

K-12 Education

  • Increases Prop 98 funding from 2015-16 by $8.2 billion more than was provided in the 2014-15 budget.
  • Expands Early Education funding by an ongoing amount of $577 million. In the budget year, the total cost will be $409 million, this includes:
    • $148 million for preschool and quality rating activities within Prop 98
    • $261 million for Child care and Preschool programs outside of Prop 98

Increasing CCC, CSU & UC funding

  • Provides major increase for Community Colleges including $38 million Cal Grant B increase for Community College Students.
  • Increases funding for the CSU by $107 million, an increase of $70 million over the May Revision. This increase will grow to about $150 million over the next few years.
  • Provides $25 million increase for the UC, but makes the funds contingent upon the UC increasing enrollment of California students by 5,000 over the next two years and capping enrollments of out of state students.

Improving Health Care

  • Restores 5% of the AB 97 Medi-Cal rates cut for dental care immediately and the rest of Medi-Cal services on April 1, 2016.
  • Funds Medi-Cal services for children, regardless of immigration status.
  • Restores optional Medi-Cal benefits, including $15 million to restore acupuncture, audiology, incontinence creams/washes, optician/optical lab, podiatry, and speech therapy in Medi-Cal.

Public Safety

  • Provides $11 million in one-time costs associated with implementing, expanding and maintaining a peace officer body camera program.
  • Provides $10 million to support grants for community groups providing services to human trafficking victims.
  • Increases funding for the California Gang Reduction and Intervention Progam (CalGRIP) by $5 million (from $9.2 million to $14.2 million). CalGRIP provides state funds to cities using a local collaborative approach for gang prevention, intervention, and suppression.