SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown released his last budget proposal Friday, a $137.6 billion spending plan with a projected a surplus of nearly $9 billion. Including bonds and special funds that are dedicated to specific purposes, the budget reaches $199.3 billion. Here's a look at some of the highlights as the term-limited governor begins his last round of budget negotiations with Democratic legislative leaders.
Brown directs the bulk of the state's new revenue to reserves that could be drawn down during a budget emergency. His proposal would boost the rainy day fund to nearly $14 billion, filling it to 10 percent of the general fund, the maximum allowed under the state constitution. His plan also leaves $3.2 billion unbudgeted, which could cover unexpected costs such as natural disasters or be carried forward to future years.
Brown in January proposed slight increases in the budgets for the University of California and California State University systems but he is continuing to resist their vocal requests for more. Leaders of the two systems and community colleges say they need more money to pay competitive wages and mitigate tuition increases. The Democratic governor's latest proposal adds $100 million for each system to work on deferred maintenance but he did not add to their ongoing budgets. He also proposed cutting UC and CSU state funding if they raise tuition.
Cities and counties would receive $359 million to help the homeless in California, who represent a quarter of the nation's entire homeless population according to federal data. The money would include $250 million for emergency aid block grants, $32 million for the state's welfare program CalWORKs and $50 million for people will mental illness. It also includes funding for domestic violence shelters, a state council that coordinates homeless assistance, and support for homeless youth and seniors. A bipartisan group of mayors from California's 11 largest cities has lobbied at the state capital this year for $1.5 billion to tackle homelessness.
Caring for inmates and lower-income residents who contract the Hepatitis C virus is costing California much more than expected. Brown's budget revision calls for $176 million more next year to expand treatment for the blood-borne liver disease. The bulk of the money — nearly $106 million — would treat a projected 22,000 infected inmates. That's about 17 percent of the prison system's nearly 130,000 inmates. Another $70 million would expand treatment for patients age 13 and older who receive state-funded health coverage through the Medi-Cal program. The money would permit treating infected patients at all stages of the virus to keep up with evolving national standards. There are some exceptions, including those who are projected to have less than 12 months to live.
Revenue from newly legalized marijuana sales has come in lower than expected. The state raised just $34 million from cannabis excise taxes in the first three months of legal sales. That's unlikely to catch up to the $185 million forecast for the first six months of sales. Officials say they still expect marijuana revenue to ramp up over time, but Brown downgraded his revenue expectations for the near term. Where the tax money goes is mostly set in stone through a formula approved by voters in 2016, which directs funding toward research, mitigating the effects of past criminalization and drug abuse treatment.
Source: California Department of Finance, interviews.
Over 130,000 pop culture devotees will come to San Diego's Gaslamp District for the annual four-day comic book convention Comic-Con, the big, bright and very heavily branded confab of costumed superfans and the corporate sponsors vying for their attention — and dollars.
There is a renewed call for protective barriers along the State Route 56 bike path where, in some sections, only a chain-link fence separates bike riders from freeway traffic.
Some tennis experts say San Diego native, Taylor Fritz is the best hope to be America's next great tennis star.
A citywide wellness program is in the works to offer San Diegans free health-related classes. Dozens of workshops will be held each year at libraries and recreation centers, according to the City of San Diego.
Major traffic is expected to start Wednesday evening as Comic-Con kicks off with preview night in Downtown San Diego. MTS officials are encouraging attendees to use public transportation and got into the SDCC spirit with an homage to the "Stranger Things."
A 28-year-old man died Wednesday after he was found shot in a car in San Diego's University Heights neighborhood, police said.
Comic-Con International, again expected to draw a wide array of fans of the popular arts, conducts its annual preview night at the San Diego Convention Center Wednesday night.
Dogs can be a man's best friend, but also a criminal's worst nightmare. In Wednesday's Zevely Zone, Jeff is in Miramar at the sheriff's K-9 training academy with the new recruits.
News 8 Sports Director, Kyle Kraska, spent a few hours with Padres all-time great Trevor Hoffman who is headed to Cooperstown to be inducted into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.
Cameras did not scare two men who were captured trying to break into a Mission Hills home in broad daylight while the homeowner’s teenage son was inside.