Calif. budget deal grants health coverage to children in U.S. illegally

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Gov. Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and top Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday announced a budget deal that extends public healthcare coverage to immigrant children who are in the country illegally.

The expansion of the state’s Medi-Cal program would begin in May 2016. It is expected to cost $40 million in the next budget and $132 million annually after that, Los Angeles Times reported.

Senate leader Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), who pushed for broader healthcare coverage with Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), called the change a “historic accomplishment.”

The final budget deal includes general fund spending of $115.4 billion, which is $2.1 billion less than the $117.5-billion budget passed by the Legislature on Monday.

Brown was able to convince lawmakers to use his more conservative revenue estimates, but other modifications in the budget freed up some extra money that Democrats wanted for government services.

For example, the spending plan includes $265 million in state support to fund 7,000 additional preschool slots and 6,800 child care slots.

“This is the best budget we’ve seen in years,” Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said at a Capitol news conference with the governor and De Leon.

Brown also called for two special sessions to address much-needed repairs to California roads and highways, and also to provide more sustainable funding to Medi-Cal. New taxes and fees could be on the table during the negotiations.

A final deal must still be approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor before it can take effect on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Votes are expected to be held on Friday.

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  • Dan Butler

    What about all the poor kids that are not illegals..Will there parents get a pass or get soaked for everything they own to pay the hospital bills..While the parents of illegal kids walk away free from any debt??

  • CM

    Until all LEGAL Americans (rich or poor) have access to free health care, those here illegally should not have access to free healthcare. Let’s put AMERICANS first…this is America after all.

  • Mike

    I think jerry brown should return to the senior center he broke out of. They’re probably worried.

  • Julieanna Piatek

    This Govener Sucks and thinks I should give my hard earned money to criminals who break into my country. I say take my money and help those who are born or migrated here LEGALLY!

  • John Berry

    Typical liberal thinking, rather than solve the problems of illegal immigration, they add more incentives for illegals to keep coming here. The same can be said for homelessness. There is a reason why these people aren’t going to other states, it’s becasue we keep bribing them with benefits!

  • Shawn Fox

    I just watched a commercial the other day about Medi-Cal being severely underfunded but it wasn’t clear to me who paid for it. Is that what they meant; that it wasn’t funded enough to pay for medical costs of illegal immigrants?

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