California lawmakers approve budget to fund rail, preschool

SACRAMENTO Calif. Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:04pm EDT

An artist's rendition courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority shows a high speed train passing through Mission Beach, California. REUTERS/California High-Speed Rail Authority/Handout

An artist's rendition courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority shows a high speed train passing through Mission Beach, California.

Credit: Reuters/California High-Speed Rail Authority/Handout

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SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - (This June 15 story has been refiled to correct byline, Chaussee instead of Chausee)

California lawmakers approved a $156.4 billion budget on Sunday, sending the plan that includes funding for a controversial high-speed rail project and preschool education for low-income children to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to be signed.

The state Senate voted 25-11 two hours after the Assembly approved the spending plan, a compromise deal that sets aside money for a so-called rainy day fund in line with Brown's vision of fiscal restraint.

"This budget is not perfect, but after a very dark time, we are stepping out into the light," said Senator Mark Leno during floor deliberations.

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 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.

The budget lawmakers included a requirement that $1 billion of educational funds be used for specific purposes, while limiting the dollar amount schools are allowed to keep in their coffers.

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 four-year-olds from low income families - a priority of Senate President pro-tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat who represents Sacramento.

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, Sandra Maler, Joseph Radford and Eric Meijer)

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Comments (1)
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 16, 2014 8:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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