Gov. Jerry Brown leaves budget largely untouched

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SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown issued nearly two dozen line-item vetoes on Thursday but left overall spending almost entirely intact.

The single largest change in the budget was a $30-million cut to special education.

The Legislature wanted the money as part of a plan to ensure all special education students receive the same amount of funding from the state. However, Brown said the plan would be too pricey in the long run, with costs reaching $300 million in future years.

The governor also reduced preschool funding by $5 million.

In addition, Brown cut a provision that would have required the Judiciary Council, the policymaking branch of the state court system, to develop new rules increasing transparency at meetings.


The Judiciary Council opposed the provision, and the governor said it would force too many costs onto the court system even though his administration did not have a specific estimate.

“We think the Judicial Council is in the best position to figure out how to increase transparency,” said Ana Matosantos, Brown’s finance director. “It doesn’t appear to be warranted or necessary at this time.”

The veto was criticized by Assembly Budget Chairman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills).

“This is a huge mistake,” he said in a statement. “The public has a right to know the decisions affecting access to justice and the inner workings of an entire branch of government. We can’t effectively fight wasteful spending in the courts when we are shut out.”

The $96.3-billion spending plan, which Brown signed into law on Thursday, is scheduled to take effect on Monday.


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Twitter: @chrismegerian