Monday, 16 July, 2018

Gov. Brown proposes $131.7 billion state budget

California Highway Patrol California Highway Patrol
Anna Jefferson | 12 January, 2018, 20:21

Timothy White, Cal State's chancellor, called the proposed budget "both concerning and surprising".

The state receives 70% of its revenue from income taxes and half of that comes from the top 1%, making the state dependent on capital gains earned in the stock market and resulting in huge revenue swings, Brown said.

Sens. Kevin de León, the state Senate leader, and Holly Mitchell, the Senate budget committee chairwoman, also lauded Brown's budget as financially responsible, but suggested they wanted to see increased funding for education, child care and poverty reduction programs. The sole way of preparing is to observing your spending amount each year and accumulates the emergency fund. He begins his past year in office with state revenues gushing in by the billions of dollars. Republican Board of Equalization member George Runner, who represents the Mother Lode, says, "It's a smart move by the governor to boost the state's rainy day fund (by $10-billion), since as he warns, the threat of a recession still looms, and California is still very much vulnerable to boom-and-bust budgeting".

"The key to this budget is to fill up the rainy day fund", he said.

"I think there's more financial uncertainty between Washington and Sacramento than in the past", said Jerry Nickelsburg, director of the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson Forecast, a leading forecaster. Delivering a final, frugal, fiscally responsible budget would be a parting gift to Californians who elected him governor - not once, not twice, but four times - and to the next California governor as well. Cities and towns will see significantly more money in their coffers - $2.7 billion compared to $1.6 billion previous year - to pay for local street and road repairs, thanks to the gas tax. Brown's discussion of Prop 13 came in the context of the fiscal world California lives in because of the mandates of that tax measure.

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Brown's budget would also send money to local governments with $8 billion in flexible funding to help counties as they continue to deal with the shift that began in 2011 of non-violent offenders from state prison to county jails. Alas, Brown's comparatively disciplined approach on reserves is likely as good as the state can hope for, given the Legislature's disregard for fiscal responsibility.

The $132 billion spending proposal includes notable investments in education for foster youth in the state; a new home visiting program for moms receiving welfare; and a bid to divert some young adults from prisons into juvenile facilities. And it would allocate an additional $3 billion to K-12 school districts, completing a funding formula for local schools two years ahead of schedule.

Working with community colleges, private colleges "are confident we can and will improve the number of transfers into our sector", said Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities in a statement Wednesday expressing thanks for Brown's plan. A finalized version of the budget must be approved by June 15. To justify this approach, he highlighted how the volatile California tax structure that is swelling coffers now has previously forced massive budget cuts during recessions - including the $27 billion deficit he inherited back in 2011.

Personal income taxes came in 25% higher at $11 billion in December.

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