Legislation long sought by Democrats to prevent layoffs of tens of thousands of teachers, police and other public workers has passed the Senate.

The package offers $1.8 billion dollars for California’s Medicaid program which serves some seven million low income residents, and extends emergency funding to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters.

Senator Barbara Boxer co-sponsored the provision that protects teachers.

“In my state, 13,500 teachers are saved,” she said.

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School districts have had to layoff teachers because with the state still wrangling over a budget, it was unclear how much money was going to be allocated for schools. Boxer says the aid money is being paid for by closing federal tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas.

“Our Republican friends on the other side said, ‘Pay for it, pay for it,'” she said. “And we did. We paid for this completely. So not one cent is added to the deficit.”

The bill still has to clear the House for final approval.


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