(AP) – Highlights of the California budget plan Gov. Jerry Brown released Thursday:
1. BUDGET DEFICIT GONE
Brown’s $97.6 billion general fund budget for the next fiscal year eliminates the massive shortfalls of the past few years and instead includes an $850 million surplus.
2. WHY THERE IS MORE MONEY
Brown has pushed austerity and forced cuts throughout state government. Also, California voters approved the governor’s November ballot initiative to increase the state sales tax for four years and income taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year for seven years, generating $6 billion in additional tax revenue.
3. HOW IS THE MONEY BEING SPENT
K-12 schools will receive $2.7 billion more and now account for nearly 60 percent of all general fund spending. The University of California and California State University systems each will receive $250 million.
4. BIG IDEAS
Brown wants to redistribute some education money so school districts in poorer communities and those with high levels of English-learner students receive proportionally more than districts in wealthier communities. Brown says such a shift is needed because of growing inequality between rich and poor.
5. BUDGET THREATS
The governor listed a number of factors that could undermine his budget plan, including uncertain action by Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling, potential increases in health care costs and whether courts or the federal government block some of his proposed spending cuts.
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