A quick look at California’s new budget deal

A quick look at California’s new budget deal

Like any previous state budget, the new budget deal approved by California legislators earlier this week apparently tries to resolve some key issues and push some other issues further down the road.

While much work on budget-related bills is left to be completed, the $170.9-billion spending plan for next fiscal year includes more funding for programs designed to help the poor. But, some other longstanding issues will likely remain unresolved.

The state distributes welfare checks to poor families based on number of children, but there is a restriction -- if another child was born while the family is already getting benefits from the state, there will not be any additional money unless the baby is conceived due to rape or incest.

Anti-poverty advocates have long been arguing that this rule should be eradicated because the so-called “maximum family grant” prompts many to have additional kids to get more assistance from government. Now that will change. State Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said the government has started chipping away at the past’s injustices.

The budget deal falls short off expectations for state-subsidized child care, but rates paid to providers of child care will be hiked. The additional funding will likely total $500 million per annual starting in 2019.

Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, vice chairperson of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, said, “We’re trying to be progressive and think about the future.”

Republicans differ at a number of budget issues but Senate leader Kevin de León, Democrat from Los Angeles, expressed hope that lawmakers would soon be able to agree on issues and secure a deal.