The state Capitol in Sacramento.

Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have reached an agreement on a $96 billion spending plan, five days ahead of the deadline to pass a state budget. Many Democrats had hoped this year’s budget surplus would mean major restorations in services for the poor — but they ultimately agreed to the governor’s more conservative budget projections. The budget uses a controversial new formula to allocate education funding, steering more money to districts where over half of students are poor or learning English. The budget plan also partially restores mental health services and adult dental care for the poor.

Darrell Steinberg, California State Senate president pro Tem (D-Sacramento)
H.D. Palmer, deputy director, external affairs for the California Department of Finance
Bob Huff, California State Senate minority leader (R-29th District)
Scott Detrow, Sacramento bureau chief for KQED Public Radio

  • guest

    For the past three years, the Legislature has IGNORED the UCLA/RAND report on the STATEWIDE FAILURE to enforce the FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ACT (FEHA), the first comprehensive review of the anti-discrimination employment statutes in the 50 years since its enactment.

    “The separate and unequal administrative and legal systems… provide little protection for employees in low-wage occupations, racial minorities, and women, with substantial disparities in access, outcome, and deterrence.”

    Why isn’t Forum discussing this?

    Allocating more funds to DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING is obviously not the solution.

  • Chemist150

    Sustainability. I’m glad someone is bringing it up because I’m sickened by the actions of the politicians. They have a chance with a supposed “surplus” from a “temporary” tax hike that replace a “temporary” tax that replaced a temporary tax…, and they still borrow and create debt for the general fund to defund the clean energy initiative.


    Why do companies not allow employees vote for benefits (pay, pensions..), CEOs (politicians), and general spending? Because they’d run the company into the ground because they’d make incompetent self-centered choices and put into place people that do not think long term but are willing to pander to the popular vote.

    Money supply does not grow in “innovation” and nothing that is done to stimulate the economy will have lasting effects until the budgets are balanced and sustainable on a state and especially a national level. i.e. bring the money home and quit borrowing so the money can circulate where you want it instead of bleeding money out of the state and country. If the money is not here, we cannot grow. Reduce the labor surplus by increasing the money supply which is done by reducing debt burdens so the money is not in China but here. That will help the poor the most. Much more than the increasing social programs which would not be as bad if the politicians would do the right thing.


    Thank you Senator Steinberg for being a champion on Dental Restoration and the Reinvestment of vital safety net programs. I am one of you constituents and I have been following the budget closely.

  • jongran kim

    On behalf of korean community korean resource center appreciate adult dental restoration but we still consider which treatment covered by dentical, low reimbursement rate.

  • John

    Please ask Steinberg why he wants to sell out our great higher education system to for profit online education providers.

  • Diane

    It’s deplorable that while we are denying US students a decent education, we are spending tons of money educating non-US student. My daughter told me that her college friend from China is receiving $33,000 !!! in financial aid. Why are we giving money to foreign students while our own students are faced with less financial aid, increase in student loan fees, less class availablity due to cuts to Universities, community colleges and all schools. Instead of giving foreign students money to attend our US colleges paid for by OUR taxes, let their government educate them. If we stopped paying to educate others and put that money into our schools and OUR students, we could have a great educational system. This would most likely also solve the H1 visa issue. If we stop paying to have them attend our universities, they wouldn’t need an H1 visa.

  • Chris OConnell

    If Republicans are sidelined in the Legislature, it must be tempting to sideline them in the discussion. I mean Bob Huff was respectable and reality-based so kudos to him for reaching that low bar which is usually an impossible hurdle, at least for prominent national Republicans. But it is a little ridiculous to stress the lack of a rainy day fund. When they had the Governorship or veto power, all we had were MASSIVE deficits. And now they gripe that we are not saving enough even though the Democrats seem to be spending and projecting revenues quite conservatively.

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