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Senate and Assembly Finalize Budget Proposals

As of action taken today, the full Budget Committees of both houses have completed their plans to send to Conference Committee. In the coming days, members from both houses will be appointed by their leadership to a Conference Committee to review the areas of agreement, find compromise where the houses differ, and put together a joint budget to be approved by both houses and sent to the Governor for signature by June 15.

Even once both houses resolve their differences, we expect negotiations, not an automatic signature by the Governor. Both Legislative packages assume higher revenue projections than the Governor’s May Revise, offer costly expansions of programs, and increase state oversight and involvement – all of which Governor Brown seems likely to oppose. The Governor has line-item veto authority so the upcoming negotiations should make for an interesting few weeks!

Major differences between the houses:

LCFF Funding

  • Assembly: provides $6.3 billion in LCFF funding
  • Senate: provides $6.45 billion in LCFF funding
  • Both amounts are higher than the Governor’s May Revision proposal of $6.1 billion

Career Technical Education

  • Assembly & Senate: approved same funding amounts as Governor’s May Revision proposal ($400 million in 2015-16; $300 million in 2016-17; $200 million in 2017-18) but provides funds on a per-ADA basis, and removes local match requirement
  • While proposals are similar, due to technical differences this item will still go to Budget Conference Committee

Discretionary Funding/Mandate Claims

  • Assembly: approved Governor’s May Revision proposal of $3.5 billion for outstanding K-12 mandate claims, with minor tweaks
  • Senate: reduced Governor’s proposed amount of discretionary funding to $3 billion, added $800 million for professional development of educators

Educator Effectiveness

  • Assembly: approved $190 million for Peer Assistance Review (PAR) and Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) programs
  • Senate: approved $800 million for professional development/educator effectiveness; roughly $2,700 one-time funds per certificated employee
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA)

  • Assembly: approved $4.6 million in one-time funding for QEIA transition as proposed in the Governor’s May Revision
  • Senate: rejected Governor’s proposal, redirected that funding to professional development for educators (see Senate’s action on discretionary funding/mandate claims)

Early Education/Child Care

  • Assembly: approved $605 million in 2015-16 ($452 million General Fund, $153 million Prop. 98) to expand full-day preschool slots w/wrap-around care by 10,500, and Alternative Payment Voucher child care slots by 10,000 – total funding will grow to $975.7 million in 2016-17 and beyond
  • Senate: approved proposal to fund CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3, State Preschool wrap-around services, and other child care programs within Prop. 98; adopted a corresponding $994 million increase in Prop. 98 Guarantee

K-12 High Speed Network Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants (BIIG)

  • Assembly: approved Governor’s January proposal to provide $100 million in one-time Prop. 98 funding to support internet connectivity and infrastructure for schools; rejected Governor’s proposal to provide additional $8.8 million, instead adopted Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recommendation to reduce High Speed Network (HSN) reserve by $8.3 million (one-time) and use those funds for HSN operations instead of Prop. 98 funds
  • Senate: approved $75 million rather than the $100 million in Governor’s May Revision proposal – $25 million for connectivity to be provided pursuant to BIIG grant criteria, $5 million for HSN to provide training and professional development to LEAs on technology, and $45 million for SPI to provide grants to LEAs on a per ADA basis for technology needs; adopted language similar to Assembly regarding use of HSN reserve funds for HSN operational costs

Home-to-School Transportation Equalization

  • Assembly: no proposal
  • Senate: approved $50 million for 2015-16
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

LCFF Transparency

  • Assembly: approved language to require the California Department of Education (CDE) to report on LCFF distribution annually
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Homeless Youth Definition

  • Assembly: approved language to add homeless youth as a pupil subgroup for purposes of the development of Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP)
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Foster Youth Alignment

  • Assembly: approved $30 million to expand definition for Foster Youth Services to include youth living with relatives
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

After School Education and Safety Program (ASES)

  • Assembly: approved $50 million to raise the per-student rate to assist with rising program costs and retain capacity
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Kevin R. Gordon, President
Capitol Advisors Group, LLC