California poised to fund high-speed rail, public pre-k in new budget

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) – California will spend $250 million on a controversial high speed rail project, fund pre-school for low-income children, and pay down debts under a budget deal that is likely to be approved this weekend, lawmakers said on Friday. The proposal, approved by a conference committee but still subject to negotiation before a budget deadline on Sunday, marks a compromise with Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who has demanded fiscal restraint from progressive Democrats who wanted to restore recession-era cuts. “Over two fiscal years, we’re going to pay down $2 billion in debt and make the first deposit into the rainy day fund in seven years.” California faces the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, in good financial shape, thanks to new taxes approved by voters and the resurgent economy.

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