Budget committee prepares to wrap up work

Assembly Budget Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), pictured here speaking on the Assembly floor, said there will be more funding for preschool and child care in the budget.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

With closed-door negotiations bearing fruit, the joint budget committee is expected to meet Wednesday afternoon to nail down more details on state spending.

“We’ll get through most of it,” Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who is chairing the committee, said in an interview.

Final budget votes on the Assembly and Senate floors are expected over the weekend; the deadline for approving a spending plan is Sunday.


Skinner said “there will be good news” when it comes to child care and preschool. Democratic lawmakers have been prodding Gov. Jerry Brown to allow more funding for early childhood programs.

There’s also a push for more funding for public universities, and Skinner said the spending would pay dividends down the line.

“A four-year degree translates into a huge income boost for that individual,” she said. “That individual stays in California, that boost comes back to us in tax revenue.”

Skinner said lawmakers will continue opposing Brown’s effort to avoid paying overtime to home-care workers. Advocates say that the governor’s proposal would be severely harmful to low-income elderly and disabled residents who rely on the state for assistance.

“It’s not something that’s palatable,” she said.

Follow @chrismegerian for more updates from Sacramento.