2015-2016 Budget Highlights

Highlights from 2015-16 Budget Passed by the LegislatureAs Approved on June 15, 2015

  • The Legislature passed a $117.5 billion state General Fund expenditure plan today which includes $5.7 million in total reserves.
  • The budget adopted by the Legislature is responsible and balanced.  While investing in the state’s future with increased funding for education and health care, the budget also sets aside significant amount of funds in reserve and pays down $2.6 billion in past debts.

Early Childhood, K-12, and Higher Education

  • Increases funding for student education with $8.2 billion in Proposition 98 funding from the current budget year (2014-15).
  • Expands early childhood education by $409 million including $148 million for preschool and $261 million for child care and preschool programs above the Proposition 98 school expenditure mandate.  This commitment will be maintained in the outgoing years at a $577 million funding level.  The Legislature’s plan would increase the number of childcare slots by 27,000. 
  • Provides $50 million in Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants for K-12 schools.
  • Provides $25 million to begin equalizing funding for education-related transportation services.
  • Provides $500,000 toward the Student Friendly Serve college planning website.
  • Increases funds for all three higher education systems including more money for Cal Grant B, the Middle Class Scholarship, and Dream Loans.

Career Tech and Workforce Development Opportunities

  • Approves $400 million for the Career Technical Incentive Grant Program, which will prioritize applications from high schools that will be establishing new CTE programs, serve low-income communities, English learners, foster youth, high drop-out rates, and are located in areas with high unemployment rates.
  • Approves $14 million in support of current apprenticeship programs and $15 million to establish new apprenticeship programs in high-demand occupations at both the community college and high school levels.
  • Approves $48 million for Career Technical Education Pathways Program through the Community Colleges.
  • Approves a $19 plan to reduce prison recidivism including $3 million to nonprofit groups proving programs in prisons, $8 million for grants to community-based organizations currently providing programs to formerly incarcerated individuals, and $1.8 million to local workforce investment boards.
  • Approves $2.6 million to continue contracts for the California Prison Industries Authority’s Career Technical Education Program, which will support 342 inmates in receiving training related to pre-apprenticeship programs in carpentry, construction, iron working, and facilities maintenance.  This is separate from the $19 million program.


Community Development:  Public Health, Community Services, and Income Stability

  • Establishes a state Earned Income Tax Credit that is anticipated to lift approximately 50,000 working people out of poverty and 50,000 more low-wage workers and families out of deep poverty.
  • Provides $5.5 million in local library grants to upgrade equipment and access broadband internet services.
  • Appropriates $3 million to continue funding of the County Veterans Service Offices.
  • Increases the SSI grants for individuals by $10 per month and restores the annual SSI and CalWORKS COLA.
  • Funds Medi-Cal services for all children regardless of immigration status and increases services for the developmentally disabled.
  • Approves the Family Health Estimate for $264 million, which funds non-Medi-Cal costs associated with: Every Woman Counts, California Children Services, Children’s Health and Disability Program, and Genetically Handicapped Persons Program.
  • Provides $80 million for county Medi-Cal costs related to the increased workload associated with the Affordable Care Act and the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention (Covered California) system changes.
  • Restores full Medi-Cal dental benefits to adults, beginning January 1, 2016 ($45 million)
  • Provides $3 million in ongoing support for the State Emergency Food Assistance Program.
  • Provides $20 million for farmworker housing including $12 million for migrant centers and $4 million for Self Help single family housing.  Also authorizes $7.5 million for Farmworker Assistance as part of the Emergency Drought Response package.
  • Adopts trainer bill language that stipulates that of the $26 million (prop 40) appropriated for youth soccer, $10 million shall be set aside for outdoor environmental education and activities.


Entrepreneurship and Business Development

  • Appropriates $2 million for business assistance through the federal small business development centers. 
  • Approves spending authority of $7.8 million to continue the modernization of the California Business Connect project, the Secretary of States’ online business filing system.
  • Establishes and funds the Office of New Americans within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.  The Office of New Americans will undertake a comprehensive assessment of state services and develop a strategic plan to assist in the economic and social integration of new citizens.


Drought Response

  • Approves $162 million to support:
    1. Ground Water Sustainability planning grants, $38.7 million
    2. Agriculture Water Use Efficiency Conservation, $29.8 million
    3. Desalination Grand Funding Programs, $44.4 million
    4. Groundwater contamination, $783 million
    5. Water Recycling , $132 million
    6. Safe Drinking Water, $180 million for public water system infrastructure  improvements To further Safe Drinking Water efforts, this budget adopts trailer bill language that allows the consolidation of water systems in disadvantaged communities located within unincorporated areas or that are served by mutual water companies.
  • Approves a separate $7.5 million in general funds for the Department of Community Services and Development to provide emergency relief and support services to economically disadvantaged Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers and other low-income families in the state. [Also included under Community Development]


Greenhouse Gas Reduction:  Cap and Trade Proceeds

  • Approves $30 million of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds dedicated for monitoring, standards and administrative functions.   This funding will help in the implementation of AB 1059 (E. Garcia), to ensure that gaps in the CalEnviro screen data along the California-Mexico border are identified and addressed.


Water Resources:  Quality and Access

  • Approves $2.85 billion from Prop 1 funds for the following:
    • $2.38 billion to begin the first year of the expenditure plan, including $178 million for various watershed protection and restoration.  This funding can go towards New River given the language we have as it relates to Urban Streams Restoration program changes we are making in the bill, AB 965.
    • Approves $475 million for projects to improve drinking water in disadvantaged communities.  This supports the implementation of AB 434 (Garcia) related to filtration systems.


  • Approves $14 million over a 6-year period to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Legislation and augment the California Water Action Plan.
  • Approves one-time $4 million to assist small disadvantaged communities with their waste water needs.
  • Approves trailer bill language allowing the board to adopt a fee schedule to ensure the Safe Drinking Water program will generate sufficient funds to support the program goals.
  • Appropriates all remaining Prop 13 funds for the River Parkway Program, for acquisition and development of river parkways and the protection of urban streams.


Environmental Quality:  Toxic Substances, Pesticide Control, Recycling

  • Adopts trailer bill language that creates a deputy director position for environmental justice as DTSC.
  • Approves $412,000 to address pesticides near schools.
  • Expands the types of projects that can be supported by the Tire Fund in the California-Mexico border region to include support and cleanup of illegally disposed waste tires and solid waste along the border that could negatively impact California's environment; and
  • Establishes the Border Region Solid Waste Working Group, within the California-Mexico Border Relations Council, to develop and coordinate long-term solutions to address and remediate problems associated with waste tires, solid waste and excessive sedimentation which results in degraded valuable estuarine and riparian habitats, threaten water quality and the public health of California.
  • The proposal will also require a $300,000 appropriation from the Tire Fund to support the Council.