Clued-in Californians should quickly check out the Obama administration's proposed Fiscal 2015 budget, because it won't last long.
On its face, the $3.9 trillion budget unveiled Tuesday includes plenty for Californians to chew over. There's money for buying public lands, but not for helping states incarcerate unauthorized immigrants. There's more for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which currently aids 3 million California households. There's less for crop insurance subsidies used by the state's farmers.
Some specific California projects, too, get a budget shout-out, including $37 million for restoring the crucial San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Not far away, the budget calls for adding 475 acres to the Grasslands Wildlife Management Area, and 91 acres to the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge.
"This is a solid budget," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told reporters at a budget briefing. "It's responsible."
The detailed budget proposal that spans over 1,500 pages and multiple documents, though, is both short-lived and far-reaching. It includes some presidential priorities House Republicans disfavor. It also includes some putative cuts, like eliminating funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, that Congress invariably restores.
Roughly 13 percent of California state prison inmates are in the United States illegally, and in some county jails the percentage is even higher. The SCAAP program reimburses states and localities for a small part of the overall incarceration costs.
Last year, for instance, the program that the Obama administration now says it wants to end provided $52 million to California and more than half-a-million dollars each to Fresno, Sacramento and Tulare counties. California lawmakers, who have been through this political exercise many times before, will join with allies in other immigration-impacted states to restore least some of the funding.
PHOTO:President Barack Obama visiting Powell Elementary School in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Associated Press/Pablo Martinez Monsivais