Capital Public Radio: Legislative Dems Want to Restore Budget Cuts, but Priorities Differ

By Ben Adler

CPR photo/Ben Adler

CPR photo/Ben Adler    

As budget talks head into their final weeks, supporters of programs suffering from years of cuts are asking for help. Gov. Jerry Brown opposes any new spending. But Assembly and Senate Democrats have different programs in which they’d like to invest.

(Sacramento, CA) 
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The steps of the State Capitol have hosted rally after rally in recent weeks, including one Tuesday that drew a high school marching band and flag squad.  Each group wants to draw attention to a program that’s taken deep budget cuts in recent years: child care, health care, and in this case, after school programs.

Many Democrats have been hoping state revenues would improve enough to restore at least some of those cuts, such as Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who spoke at the rally for after school programs.  “To the degree that we have a little bit of additional money – yes, we want to pay down debt and yes, we want to put some money away, appropriately, for a Rainy Day, but then we need to reinvest where we can,” Leno said.

But Democrats in the Senate and Assembly have different priorities.  The Senate hopes to increase money for mental health programs, adult dental coverage and career technical education.  The Assembly is focused on child care programs, courts and child poverty grant increases for the state’s welfare-to-work program.

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