Democrats Pass Austerity Budget for California

The Legislature passed an austerity budget Tuesday night that would cut from universities, courts and the poor, shutter 70 parks and threaten schools but would not – by officials’ own admission – restore California’s long-term financial health. The UC and Cal State systems would face about a 23% funding cut, among the steepest in the proposal. Cash grants for the needy would fall, a program to help thousands of teen mothers get an education would be suspended and hundreds of millions of dollars would be siphoned from mental health programs.  The state park closures would be the first ever. Courts would face what the state’s chief justice has described as crippling reductions. In an optimistic forecast, lawmakers built in an extra $4 billion of revenue. If all that cash does not materialize, K-12 schools – which had so far survived negotiations relatively unscathed – would face a cutback equal to shortening the academic year by seven days.

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