SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California will close its projected $15.7 billion budget deficit as part of a deal Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders announced Thursday. The deal will restructure the state’s welfare program, streamline health insurance for low-income children, and reduce child care coverage and college aid, The governor and lawmakers provided only broad outlines of the cuts and few hard dollar figures, but Brown said the deal met his demand for permanent welfare reform. He says he now is willing to sign the main budget bill Democratic legislators sent him last week. Even with the changes, the state’s new spending plan still relies heavily on voters in November approving Brown’s initiative to raise the state sales tax and increase the income tax on people who earn the most.
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