By Judy Lin
Associated Press
Jun 16, 2016 – 8:03 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A $115.4 billion budget deal would make California the first in the nation to offer state-subsidized health care to children who are in the country illegally while expanding other social welfare programs, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said Tuesday.

The budget deal sends billions of dollars more to public schools and universities, adds spaces for state-funded child care and preschool, and creates the state’s first income tax credit for the working poor.

“While Washington dithers because they can’t get things done, we need immigration reform,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles. “The reality is many of these children, and they are children, require some kind of health care and they receive it in the emergency room.”

The cost to taxpayers would be $40 million in the new fiscal year and grow to $132 million a year once fully implemented.

Republicans have questioned the cost and warned that it won’t help immigrants access doctors because of the shortage of providers who accept Medi-Cal, the state’s health program for the poor.

Tuesday’s revised spending plan is far closer to Brown’s $115 billion proposal in May than the $117.5 billion version approved a day earlier by the Democratic-controlled Legislature. It adds $61 million in spending above his May plan.

“All in all, I think the people of California can be proud of the work that’s been done,” Brown said.

The new deal is expected to easily win approval from the Senate and Assembly, which will schedule votes on the package ahead of the July 1 start of the fiscal year.

Brown also announced he is calling two special sessions to address how California pays for roads, highways and other infrastructure and Medi-Cal. There is a $5.7 billion annual backlog in road repairs, the administration said.

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