Legislature releases 2023–24 budget bills

In preparation for the June 15 deadline to pass a budget bill, leadership in the Senate and Assembly have announced an agreement on the 2023–24 budget. Each house has put its initial budget legislation into print as Assembly Bill 101 and Senate Bill 101.

The legislative budget agreement reflects the impacts of CSBA’s ongoing budget advocacy and includes the most significant priorities CSBA members and Governmental Relations staff have advocated for throughout the budget cycle, including:

  • Honoring the increase in the annual statutory cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) from 8.13 percent to 8.22 percent for the Local Control Funding Formula and specified categorical programs.
  • Restoring most of the cuts Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed to the Arts, Music & Instructional Materials (AMIM) Discretionary Block Grant. Under the Legislature’s agreement, the grant would be cut by $200 million rather than the $1.8 billion proposed by the Governor.
  • Partially restoring the Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant, from a proposed $2.5 billion reduction in the May Revision to a $494.5 million reduction.
  • Approving the proposed $80 million to support juvenile court and county community schools (JCCS), a key budget ask spearheaded by CSBA, the California County Superintendents and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. More details as to how this funding will be distributed and potential new accountability requirements will be hammered out in budget trailer bills later this summer.

The Legislative agreement also includes:

  • Approval of other key proposals from the Governor’s May Revision, including:
    • Maintaining the ongoing $4 billion in Proposition 98 for the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program while providing some additional flexibility on use of funds.
    • Delaying the $550 million for the Transitional Kindergarten, Full Day Kindergarten and State Preschool Facilities Program to the 2024–25 fiscal year.
    • Fully funding the current year costs and budget year costs of universal school meals.
    • $20 million for Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Grants.
  • $15 million Proposition 98 General Fund for the commercial dishwasher grant program outside of the Kitchen Infrastructure and Training Funds.
  • $10 million Proposition 98 General Fund for a Diverse Education Leaders Pipeline Initiative to build a pipeline of administrators of color.
  • Rate reform and family fee reform for childcare programs, including state preschool: increased reimbursement rates for childcare providers, waived childcare fees through Sept. 30, 2023, a permanent cap on family fees at 1 percent of family income and waived family fees for families with income under 75 percent of state median income.

Underlying many of these proposals is the Legislature’s adoption of a Proposition 98 Guarantee that is $2.1 billion higher than the Governor’s May Budget Revision, on the basis of the Legislative Analyst Office’s forecast of higher local property tax revenue. This higher guarantee allows the Legislature to avoid most of the cuts proposed by the Governor while still accomplishing proposals like fully funding universal school meals and providing additional funding for county office of education-run JCCS. Where these proposals land in the final budget will hinge on negotiations between the Legislature and the Governor in the coming days.

What’s next?

The Senate and Assembly budget committees will hold hearings on AB and SB 101 on June 14, leading up to a final vote to comply with the June 15 deadline to pass a budget bill. Gov. Newsom will then have until June 30 to sign or veto the legislation.

Remaining points of disagreement between the Legislature and Governor and topics needing further clarification, including details on the JCCS funding proposal and other education issues, will be addressed in additional budget trailer bills later this summer. As negotiations continue, CSBA will keep members updated on the latest developments and advocacy opportunities.