Democrats prepare to toss budget to Gov. Jerry Brown
Here’s what we know about the state of the state’s budget: We now have a clearer idea of where the Legislature's top Democrats stand, and where they differ from Gov. Jerry Brown.
Speaker John A. Perez and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg walked reporters through their budget plan Wednesday morning. They are rejecting slightly more than $1 billion in Brown’s proposed cuts to welfare, child care, in-home care and college financial aid programs.
The two say they plan to send the budget to Brown on Friday.
But there’s a lot we still don’t know, primarily whether or not the governor will go along with any of it.
Brown’s press office did not immediately respond to questions after the legislative leaders’ joint news conference, and spokesman Gil Duran said only that negotiations between the two sides were ongoing.
But the early reviews from Brown were not positive.
The two Democratic legislative leaders countered Wednesday that Brown’s statement was in response to an outdated draft of their proposal, and that all of the governor’s concerns had been addressed.
Duran said he did not know if that was the case.
Notably unresolved was a question over welfare benefits. Brown wants to cut those benefits by $880 million and reinstitute and tighten work requirements for some welfare recipients with young children, which were suspended two years ago in a cost-saving move.
Brown also seeks to reduce some monthly welfare checks by as much as 27% for a single parent with two children.
Democrats are countering with a plan that omits the stricter work requirements for welfare recipients but also cuts job training programs.
Democrats also included some political moves in their proposal. They eliminated funding for the state’s high-speed rail program, a program for which Brown has been the most enthusiastic cheerleader, and cut Brown’s business development office by $300,000.
-- Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: From left, Speaker John A. Perez, Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. Credit: Sacramento Bee