California Seal

By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
May 28, 2013, 7:48 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has rolled out his revised budget proposal, both houses of the Legislature are outlining their own ideas for how the state’s money should be spent in the next year.

The Senate wants more funding for mental health programs, dental care for poor adults and career training for high school students. The Assembly wants to increase welfare grants, expand child-care programs and reduce university costs.

Neither wish list matches Brown’s $96.4-billion budget proposal, which is almost $2 billion smaller and relies on a more pessimistic view of California’s economy. The lawmakers have less than three weeks to reconcile their differences; state law requires them to pass a budget by June 15. The governor has until the end of June to sign a spending plan into law.

“The differences will be ironed out,” said Assembly Budget Chairman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills). “We will adopt another on-time, balanced budget.”

Budget dynamics are changing as California shifts from years of deep deficits to an expectation of extra funds. Democrats weary of repeated cuts are now jockeying to restore money to their favored programs, while Brown positions himself as the official best equipped to keep lawmakers from his own party in line.

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