California proposes a $131.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2018-19

Gov. Jerry Brown holds a budget chart as he discusses his proposed 2016-17 state budget at a news conference in Sacramento Calif. The ballooning costs are an issue Brown will face in his final year in office despi

Brown's final California budget stashes billions in reserve

"These investments by Governor Brown help libraries do an even better job of connecting Californians to what they need to thrive", said Greg Lucas, California's state librarian.

The budget document says the new formula seeks "to improve the incentives for districts to focus on improving student success while providing districts with local flexibility to do so".

- Making key investments in trade and commute corridors to support continued economic growth and implement a sustainable freight strategy ($556 million). He said that is why California needs to collect a large surplus.

Brown also called for $46 million to give community colleges the option to offer one year of free tuition to eligible students. Many school reform groups applauded the changes and the rationale.

The biggest battle in this year's California budget process is likely to be about what to do with an estimated $7.5 billion budget surplus.

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"California community colleges are serving 2.1 million students each year, but we are still not meeting the needs of 2.5 million others who for a variety of reasons can not attend classes on our campuses", Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the two-year system's chancellor, said in a written statement.

"I thank the governor for maintaining the three-year commitment to increasing access and funding for early childhood education opportunities, including providing another almost 3,000 preschool slots, and for proposing a $167 million competitive grant for inclusive early education and care". The plan is to use $100 million over seven years to create the college and fund it annually at $20 million.

The 2018-19 budget presented on Wednesday proposed to open the online college by fall 2019.

The new college appears to follow another trend in the higher education: competency-based education.

The governor has long supported the idea of an online community college in California.

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Gov. Jerry Brown said the "inevitable recession lurking in our future" has thankfully not hit California yet, but urged lawmakers to remain vigilant as they debate the $132 billion general fund budget he proposed Wednesday.

Mr. Brown's two most immediate predecessors were consumed by state budget woes at the end of their tenures.

But UC President Janet Napolitano and UC Board of Regents Chairman George Kieffer were less happy, arguing in a statement that the 3 percent increase for their system was "less than we anticipated under the framework we established with the governor".

The governor's spending plan would allocate $4.6 billion in new transportation funding in fiscal 2018-19 including $2.8 billion to fix neighborhood roads, state highways and bridges, $556 million for trade and commute corridors, $200 million for high-priority transportation projects and $721 million for passenger rail and public transit modernization.

Dodd added that he'll be working with the state's administration and colleagues in the Legislature to expand efforts on disaster recovery and preparedness. The $92 million increase for the state's system of regional comprehensive universities would be equal to 1.4 percent of its operating budget, White said in a

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