Here are key areas of disagreement between the $41.1-billion state budget approved by the Legislature and the $40.8-billion spending plan proposed by Gov. George Deukmejian for the fiscal year that began Wednesday.
The governor warned that he may use veto authority to cut $500 million from the Legislature’s version of the budget. The Legislature’s budget would increase the general operations portion of the budget, which funds most state services, by 6.2% over last year’s levels. The governor’s budget would boost spending 4.1%.
The nonpartisan legislative analyst estimates the size of the budget reserve in the Legislature’s budget at $543 million. The Administration’s Department of Finance estimates it at $219 million. Both figures are well below the governor’s goal of $1 billion.
Deukmejian’s budget would increase spending on kindergarten through high school programs by 3.6%; the Legislature’s spending plan would boost school budgets by 4.6%. The Legislature’s version would raise spending on special urban and rural school programs by $147 million. Lawmakers rejected Deukmejian’s plan to eliminate state funding for a group of specialized school programs, like Gifted and Talented Education, in order to provide $60 million to school districts to reduce class size. The Legislature’s budget would provide $4,294 per student, $39 per student more than the governor proposed but still less than last year after inflation is taken into account; when adjusted for inflation, spending per pupil would go down 3.6%.
The Legislature’s budget rejects Deukmejian’s proposal to save $36.5 million by instituting reforms in the Medi-Cal program, and also would restore a $300-million general cut by the governor. Lawmakers added $69 million to provide health services to the “working poor"--those whose income is too high to qualify for welfare but too low for them to afford health insurance of their own. They added $20 million to Deukmejian’s proposal for trauma and emergency care, $20 million for aid to victims of Alzheimer’s disease, and $39 million to the $44.6 million proposed by Deukmejian for the fight against AIDS.
The Legislature rejected the governor’s request for a $40 million increase in the budget to expand the state’s work-for-welfare-benefits program to additional counties.
The Legislature cut $41 million from the Department of Corrections budget, and cut another $40 million by adopting a new program that would allow parole violators to reduce their sentences by participating in a work-release program.
Legislature added $88.9 million in funding for counties to be used for health and social services programs. Lawmakers rejected Deukmejian’s plan to shift responsibility for $477 million in health and welfare programs to counties.
State Employee Salaries
Both versions of budget are in basic agreement on state employee salaries. Deukmejian proposes a 3% full-year increase. The Legislature would provide the same amount of dollars but would make the pay raise 6% for half a year, taking effect Jan. 1, 1988, instead of July 1. The Legislature doubled money set aside for faculty salaries for instructors in the California State University system, adding $27 million to provide for a 6.9% increase that lawmakers say is necessary to keep the state competitive.