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California Lawmakers Approve Plan to Close $54B Budget Gap

California’s legislative leaders worked through billions of dollars in budget cuts to public schools and health care services proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom last month in a revised spending plan. The state must find ways to reduce a budget deficit estimated at $54.3 billion, amid a global coronavirus pandemic that’s kept workers home across California and throttled back an economy that had been in growth mode.

The 2020-2021 budget plan legislative leaders unveiled Wednesday rejected Gov. Newsom’s cuts to public schools. Instead, lawmakers agreed to delay $9 billion in payments to districts. School districts would have permission to spend the money and the state would pay them back in a future budget year.

Gov. Newsom’s proposed spending plan would have eliminated some health benefits for low-income adults and children, and reduced the number of older adults eligible for government-funded health insurance. Those cuts were rejected by the Legislature because lawmakers believe the cost to pay for the state’s health insurance programs were overestimated by about $4 billion.

An operating budget must be approved by lawmakers by June 15, or they won’t get paid according to the state constitution.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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