June 4, 2020 Comments Off on California Lawmakers Approve Plan to Close $54B Budget Gap Views: 817 California News, Top California

California Lawmakers Approve Plan to Close $54B Budget Gap

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California’s legislative leaders worked through billions of dollars in budget cuts to public schools and health care services proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom last month in a revised spending plan. The state must find ways to reduce a budget deficit estimated at $54.3 billion, amid a global coronavirus pandemic that’s kept workers home across California and throttled back an economy that had been in growth mode.

The 2020-2021 budget plan legislative leaders unveiled Wednesday rejected Gov. Newsom’s cuts to public schools. Instead, lawmakers agreed to delay $9 billion in payments to districts. School districts would have permission to spend the money and the state would pay them back in a future budget year.

Gov. Newsom’s proposed spending plan would have eliminated some health benefits for low-income adults and children, and reduced the number of older adults eligible for government-funded health insurance. Those cuts were rejected by the Legislature because lawmakers believe the cost to pay for the state’s health insurance programs were overestimated by about $4 billion.

An operating budget must be approved by lawmakers by June 15, or they won’t get paid according to the state constitution.

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