Gov. Jerry Brown has approved a spending plan that uses California's growing surplus to fund new anti-poverty initiatives.
The budget signed Wednesday establishes an earned income tax credit for working-poor families; boosts the number of state-subsidized child care slots; and expands health care coverage to children who are in the country illegally.
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The state also is adopting an amnesty program for residents who can't afford to pay off spiraling court fines and traffic penalties.
Lawmakers passed a compromise $115.4 billion budget last week to meet Brown's demands for financial restraint during the fiscal year that begins next month.
Legislative leaders succeeded in finding enough money for programs to help those who have missed out on the state's economic recovery.