Assembly Budget Chair Nancy Skinner released a statement Monday on the passage of an on-time, balanced 2014-2015 California budget:
“Yesterday, we passed a budget with wise investments that will benefit each and every Californian. And for the fourth year in a row our State Budget was passed balanced and on time.
California’s K-12 schools will receive $60 billion above last year, a 10 percent increase, moving the state’s per-student funding levels within the middle range nationally.
Containing the largest investment in early care and education in over a decade, this budget sets the path toward universal preschool as well as significant improvements in childcare quality and availability.
For the first time in over a decade, California’s children age 0 to 4 will see transformational investments. Libraries, art programs, and students relying on financial aid will also see funding increased.
For California’s veterans, the budget reinforces the Assembly’s commitment to reduce the wait on claims by boosting support to county veterans service offices.
The increased investments are the most significant in years. We pay down a good portion of the state’s long-term debt, contribute to the reserve and put California on solid fiscal footing.
But it’s important to acknowledge there is desire to do more, especially for higher education. While the budget provides UC and CSU a 5 percent boost, state funding for higher education remains at historic low levels.
There is much to work on, for example, restoring Medi-Cal rates and funding to our courts, but I’m confident we’ve laid the framework for continued progressive investment into the future.”