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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on May 14, 2012 in Los Angeles. Brown proposes $8.3 billion in cuts in California to help close a projected $16 billion budget shortfall.
California state lawmakers have to pass a balanced budget by Friday. Democrats in Sacramento say they can do that without some of the cuts to social services Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed. The question now is: will the governor go for it?
Democrats propose to set aside a cash reserve that’s $400 million below Gov. Brown’s $1 billion stash. They also plan to reject his plan to save $1 billion by restructuring California’s Welfare to Work program.
Instead, they want to scrap a work requirement for parents of young children. That would cut back on job training and child care — and save $300 million.
The Democrats also plan to cut 3 percent from In-Home Supportive Services for the elderly and disabled. That cut isn’t as deep as the one the governor wants.
On education: the Democrats do plan to reduce Cal Grant scholarships for private college students, but they’ll also scrap the governor’s proposal to require low-income students to score higher grades to qualify.
Democrats also want to soften the hit public schools would take if voters reject the governor’s November tax initiative. They’d allow school districts to shave 15 days off the school year — and spread the cut over a couple of years.
Democrats say they'll continue negotiating with Gov. Brown, while budget committees in both houses proceed to vote on the proposal.