Gov. Jerry Brown signs budget that reshapes K-12 spending

Budget Conference Committee chairmen, Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills, left, and Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, right, shake hands as Gov. Jerry Brown signs the state budget at the Capitol Thursday, June 27, 2013, in Sacramento, Calif. The $96.3 billion spending plan ends years of deficits, channels more money to school districts with disadvantaged students and restores millions of dollars to social service programs cut during the recession. Also seen are Assembly Speaker John Perez,D-Los Angeles, second from left, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, second from right. (Rich Pedroncelli)

June 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a state spending plan for the coming fiscal year Thursday that makes budget-busting deficits a distant memory, funnels billions of additional dollars to K-12 schools and begins restoring social service programs that were cut during the recession.

The governor was joined by Democratic legislative leaders as he signed the budget for the fiscal year starting Monday. It includes a $96.3 billion general fund, the state's main account for paying ongoing expenses.

The size of the general fund and a reserve account of $1.1 billion reflect the continuing recovering of California's economy and $6 billion in voter-approved taxes. Declining tax revenue during the recession had cut the general fund to as low as $87 billion just two years ago, requiring lawmakers to make deep spending cuts.

"This is a momentous occasion, because we have a balanced budget not proposed but actually actualized, the first time in probably a decade or more," the governor said moments before signing the spending plan.

He declared it "a big day" for public school students and those who have no health insurance or inadequate coverage.

The budget for the coming fiscal year adopts a new funding formula for public schools that will send more money to districts with disadvantaged students. It also expands Medicaid to an additional 1.4 million low-income Californians.