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The Latest: California Senate approves $215B budget

June 13, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California’s state budget (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

The California Senate has passed a $214.8 billion budget. That sends it next to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

The budget includes money to give taxpayer-funded health insurance to some low-income adults living in the country illegally. It authorizes $2.4 billion in spending to address the state’s housing and homelessness crisis. And it bolsters the state’s top firefighting agency following the most devastating wildfire season in state history.

Democratic Senate leader Toni Atkins calls it the best state budget in 20 years. She says it’s a “luxury” for lawmakers to be flush enough with cash to spend and save more.

Newsom has 12 days to review the bill and is likely to sign it.

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12:15 p.m.

The California Assembly has passed a $214.8 billion state budget, putting it one step closer to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Democrats overwhelmingly support the spending plan that puts more money toward health care, housing and shoring up state reserves. But Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi says the state could have invested more in public education.

Republicans are opposing the plan. They argue the bill expands or creates too many new programs while not doing enough to improve basic government services. Assemblyman Devon Mathis says the state shouldn’t be spending money on health care for immigrants living in the country illegally.

The plan is now up for debate in the state Senate.

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6 a.m.

California lawmakers are poised to approve a framework for a $214.8 billion budget that seeks to address a teacher shortage and bolster the state’s top firefighting agency following the most devastating wildfire season in state history.

State law requires lawmakers to pass the framework by midnight Saturday. If they don’t, they don’t get paid. Lawmakers reached an agreement on Sunday night and scheduled a vote for Thursday.

The budget would offer students studying to be teachers grants of up to $20,000 if they promise to teach subjects impacted by a teaching shortage, including science, technology, engineering and math.

The plan would also give the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection $40.3 million to purchase 13 new fire engines and hire 131 people to operate them.

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