By John Fensterwald
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed the $171 billion state budget for the year starting July 1 without deleting any spending items. The budget, which the Legislature passed on June 15, directs an additional $3 billion into the state’s rainy-day reserve – one of the governor’s top priorities. The reserve will rise to $6.7 billion by June 2017.
The Sacramento Bee reported that the last time a governor signed an intact budget, without penciling out spending, was 1982, during Brown’s second term as governor.
The budget includes $71.9 billion through Proposition 98, the main source of money for K-12 and community colleges. That’s $3.5 billion more than the Legislature approved last year and is a 4 percent increase. The budget also commits to increasing the number of slots for state preschool by nearly 9,000 over the next four years, a victory for advocates of early education and their ally, the Legislative Women’s Caucus.