Despite the state’s financial peril, California has opted to pass a budget that includes free health benefits to adult illegals.
Per SacBee, the budget includes $98 million to let undocumented young adults under age 26 enroll in Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income people, starting in 2020. Undocumented children up to age 19 are already eligible for Medi-Cal benefits.
Lawmakers and Newsom have also agreed to fine people who don’t buy health insurance through a penalty known as the individual mandate.
Revenue from the mandate will fund insurance premium subsidies for middle income people. The budget agreement passed Thursday includes an additional $450 million over three years to fund insurance subsidies after some lawmakers argued mandate revenue alone wouldn’t make health insurance affordable.
Meanwhile a disturbing survey finds a trash, needles and feces crisis in San Francisco.
California lawmakers passed a $214.8 billion budget deal Thursday, with new spending on schools, homelessness and health care for undocumented immigrants.
The budget relies on a surplus to add billions to the state’s reserves funds, which will bring the state’s total so-called rainy day fund to $19 billion. It puts hundreds of millions of dollars into other reserves, too, including ones for schools and social services.
Lawmakers are still hashing out final details of some aspects of the budget through so-called trailer bills, which can be passed after the main budget bill. But the bill passed Thursday will provide the major framework for state spending in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
“The budget deal will maintain the state’s ongoing commitment to fiscal prudence,” said Sen. Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat who leads the committee that oversees the final budget deal. “This budget is bold and responsible.”
Republicans criticized some of the spending tucked into the budget for individual projects, including dog parks and playgrounds.
“This budget has more pork in it than any other budget that I’ve seen in my time in the Legislature,” said Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, noting that many of those expenditures were added over the weekend. “Those earmarks have no business being in the budget at that late date.”
Now that lawmakers have passed it, Gov. Gavin Newsom has 12 days to sign or veto the bill. He can also nix parts of the budget through line-item vetoes.