SACRAMENTO -- The California Legislature passed a $96.3-billion budget on Friday, sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval.
The budget will redistribute education funding to help needier school districts, prepare for an expansion of public healthcare coverage, and lay the groundwork for years of spending increases for social services. Brown is expected to sign the budget.
It was passed with a party line vote. Lawmakers will spend the rest of the day -- and possibly some of Saturday -- considering a collection of related budget bills.
The deadline to pass a budget was tomorrow. It's been almost three decades since the Legislature passed a spending plan before the deadline.
"The people of California deserve better than this process," Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet) said.
Assembly Budget Chairman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) defended the budget.
"Critics of this budget have foolishly said that California is returning to fast and free-spending ways," he said. "That's mythology."
Blumenfield added that the budget was "passed on time and in the light of day. The sun is shining, people."