California lawmakers approve budget to fund rail, preschool

SACRAMENTO Calif. Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:59pm EDT

Related Topics

SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - The California State Assembly approved a $156.4 billion budget plan on Sunday that includes funding for a controversial high-speed rail project and preschool education for low-income children.

The assembly voted 55-24 to approve the budget, a compromise deal that sets aside money for a so-called rainy day fund in line with Democratic Governor Jerry Brown's vision of fiscal restraint.

The vote followed months of political wrangling among Democrats seeking to restore spending on social programs cut during the recession.

A budget deal was reached on Friday and the vote came ahead of a deadline of midnight on Sunday to pass it. The Senate still has to vote on the measure.

The budget must be signed into law by Brown, who last year used his line-item veto to kill some measures. On Friday, he praised the legislature for "a solid and sustainable budget" barely bigger than the $156.2 billion he had proposed in May.

California faces the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, in good financial shape, thanks to new taxes approved by voters and the resurgent economy. When Brown took over in 2011 after serving two terms from 1975 to 1983, the state faced an 18-month budget gap of $25 billion.

Brown's high-speed rail project, a $68 billion effort opposed by Republicans, will receive $250 million in funding from the state's cap-and-trade program. The state collects a fee after polluters buy and sell their rights to emit carbon into the air.

As part of a compromise with Brown, lawmakers negotiated additional commitments for cap-and-trade funds, including money for affordable housing, mass transit and clean energy projects.

Other compromises included an expansion of public pre-kindergarten for low-income 4-year-olds, a priority of Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat who represents Sacramento.

Lawmakers also plan to include a requirement that $1 billion of education funds be used for specific purposes. They include implementing national Common Core curriculum standards, vocational education and assistance for school districts with a high percentage of disadvantaged students, said Assembly member Nancy Skinner, a Berkeley Democrat.

(Editing by Sharon Bernstein, Ian Simpson and Sandra Maler)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
morbas wrote:
With a very small surtax on the millionairs, CA is resurgent. Wake up people, so could all United States of America. Our present depression is wealth disparity caused by R.Reagan, GWBush and the TEA’GOP. Revenue is required to support infrastructure based economy.

USA tax structure is the fault and an obstacle to worldly potential. Transaction tax code imposes disproportionate burden at the most fundamental rights of liberty, justice. Any encumbrance on sustenance is contrary to equality in the ’pursuit of happiness’. Debt and deficit is simply insufficient revenue. We can nationalize the tax code eliminating all other taxation, immediately balancing the budget(s), through our ’1913 Income Tax Act’ graduated income tax principle(s).

To: Office of Senator ____________________
United States Senate Washington,
D.C. 20510
To: Office of Representative_________________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
We the people of this United States do proclaim this federal government ‘of, by and for the people’. That, in order to fairly distribute revenue burden, to satisfy ‘net income’ progressive taxation, to balance all governments budgets, and to not tax poverty;
The people mandate:
Income National Tax code that shall use margin graduated income tax principle: Margin $30k 0%, each dollar above this at a linear increasing rate {(Income*(Income/$800k)*90%; 90% limit} . Exemptions shall be prohibited, couples freely share income(s). The Federal Reserve shall amend the (90%,$800k) rate point, and control currency printing mandated to maintaining currency availability and value. The Federal Reserve shall set the Margin rate value well (>2x) above highest of all State Poverty Level(s). Revenue shall be proportioned 1/3rd Federal,1/3rd State proportioned per cast ballot and 1/3rd Local proportioned per cast ballot.
This National Tax is a peoples tax, no other citizen taxation shall be permitted. Business shall not be taxed. The Federal Reserve shall control taxation. The people will by simple majority approve or reject all margin and rate changes at every Congressional House Representative election year ballot.
Yearly Effective
Salary Tax Rate
30k 0.0%
50k 0.5%
100k 2.8%
200k 8.1%
500k 24.5%
1M 51.3%
5M 82.3%
10M 86.1%

Jun 15, 2014 7:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Constantcy wrote:
It is the train which is a complete boondoggle which will never be completed.

Jun 15, 2014 11:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
morbas wrote:
Returning to ‘The 1903 Income Tax Act’ would free the people to think beyond exclusion disparity.
Looks to me as North South Corridor high speed transit between major California cities. Supersonic Transport went the way of the dodo bird as unnecessary expense and luxury. Perhaps simply a wider gauge system would suffice, transporting cars and freight would provide greater environmental infrastructure. Suppose major intersections were used as access points to a universal ‘conveyer system’. This would likewise promote electric vehicles for local transportation, by extending their range across the state. Would it not make greater sense to promote low maintenance electrical vehicles that could replace public transportation? The Chevrolet Volt comes to mind, however redesign into a light utility truck capacity would resolve municipality transportation costs.

Jun 15, 2014 3:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Recommended Newsletters

Reuters U.S. Top News
A quick-fix on the day's news published with Reuters videos and award-winning news photography and delivered at your choice of one of four times during the day.
Reuters Deals Today
The latest Reuters articles on M&A, IPOs, private equity, hedge funds and regulatory updates delivered to your inbox each day.
Reuters Technology Report
Your daily briefing on the latest tech developments from around the world from Reuters expert tech correspondents.