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Deukmejian Keeps Ban on Funds for Abortion Groups : OKs Record Budget of $34.8 Billion

Associated Press

Gov. George Deukmejian today signed a record $34.8-billion budget after cutting $501 million from the 1985-86 spending plan sent to him by the Legislature two weeks ago.

The governor vetoed from the budget controversial anti-apartheid language added by Assembly Democrats, but he left intact anti-abortion restrictions for family planning funds that were mistakenly left in the budget the Legislature sent to him.

His vetoes included more than $70 million for community colleges, $56 million for child care, $34.5 million for mental health, $43 million for comparable-worth raises for state workers and $29 million for schools.

Deukmejian said the Legislature’s $35.3-billion budget was “a little overweight” and he had to trim $501 million from it.

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$289 Million Set Aside

The governor said he would set aside $289 million of the money and ask the Legislature to spend it for various programs, including $125 million for transportation, $68 million to repay special funds from which money was taken during the 1983 budget crisis and $25 million for drinking water projects around Stringfellow toxic waste dump in Riverside County.

In vetoing the anti-apartheid language, Deukmejian wrote, “I have concluded that the state budget is not the appropriate instrument in which to express our abhorrence of apartheid and our advice to the fiduciaries of state pension funds.”

Majority Democrats this year added anti-apartheid language that was a much weaker version of restrictions originally proposed by Assembly Democrats. The budget language would have prohibited state funds from being invested in banks and firms that give loans or investments to the government of South Africa or sell military supplies to that government.

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Investment Review Urged

The original language would have frozen state contributions to pension funds until fund managers devised a plan to sell off investments in firms doing business in South Africa.

Deukmejian said he was urging state pension fund boards “to immediately begin a systematic review of their investments,” using the standards adopted by the University of California Board of Regents last week. The regents voted to study future investments in firms that do business in South Africa one by one and favor companies that follow the Sullivan principles, which require equal opportunity standards for all employees.

Mistake Let Stand

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Deukmejian wrote that he decided not to remove anti-abortion restrictions that were left in the budget by mistake. The restrictions would prohibit family planning funds from going to private agencies that perform abortions or advertise or counsel about abortions. Family planning groups say that would cut off funds for most agencies that currently get them.

Deukmejian noted that 52 of the 120 legislators had asked him to remove all family planning funding because they were supporting a separate bill that would contain the same restrictions.

“It would make little sense to veto language I agree with, only to then ask the Legislature to send the same provision back to my desk,” he wrote.

He said his action “keeps faith with my own convictions about abortion and those of a majority of California’s legislators.”

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