California governor to release revised spending plan

Tabitha Dunn
May 13, 2017

In response to the State Auditor's review of the University of California (UC) Office of the President, the May Revision sequesters $50 million in UC funding until such time that the Auditor's recommendations and other UC commitments are implemented. Obamacare has not been a success in California, but it has generally been less unsuccessful in the Golden State than elsewhere, partly because the Obama administration saw California's program as a flagship, and the program enjoys voters' support.

"One of the things you do when you're 79 is you think a lot about the past", he said.

In the meantime, the governor's revised budget instantly touched off what will be weeks of intense negotiations with the Legislature, with legislative leaders quickly responding to the governor's starting point.

That $50 million is just over 1 percent of the overall annual UC budget of $3.7 billion.

He announced Thursday a revised outlook for the budget year that starts July 1.

That would be no small feat given the track record of most recent governors, including himself in 1983, of leaving budget messes for those who followed.

Unions persuaded voters to continue the higher taxes, the state's economy continued to expand, and the wealthy continued to reap taxable gains in the stock market, which allow Brown to ease up a bit on spending in the revised 2017-18 budget he unveiled on Thursday after warning earlier about deficits. But the governor does not plan to restore middle class scholarships and is instead phasing them out as proposed in January, due to limited funds and his desire to maintain a healthy rainy day fund that could help stave off future cuts if a recession hits.

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"California has spent enormous sums of money, particularly in education", Brown said.

His revised budget incorporates the latest receipts from the April 15 income tax deadline and was little changed from the budget he proposed in January.

The Governor's January budget proposal called for a one-year delay in providing rate increases to child care providers that were reflected in the 2016 Budget Act.

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"In California, we don't live in a fixed world of straight-line revenues that keep rising and never go down, he said".

With the state's fiscal position improved somewhat since Brown first presented the budget in January, the governor reinstated about $1 billion of funding, including for child care and in-home services.

On Thursday, the governor also warned that defunding the Affordable Care Act, or eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood, could send the state budget into turmoil.

For K-12 schools, Brown's budget calls for spending to increase by about $4,058 per student over levels from the 2011-12 school year. State attorneys general in Washington and Hawaii successfully sued to block Trump's executive orders restricting travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and California attorney general Xavier Becerra has pledged to defend the state's environmental standards and health care access.

Because of that, he budget is considerably more constrained than in any year since 2012.

The release of Brown's spending plan kicks off a month of negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Brown said the legislation was actually tax break for the wealthy.

Brown's budget does not include increased funding for repairs and replacement of some of the state's aging government buildings.

Including special funds and bonds, which are pools of restricted money that can only be used for specific projects, total proposed spending next year is $183.4 billion.

President Donald Trump is also pressing for cuts to corporate and income taxes and eliminations of deductions that benefit residents in highly taxed states like California.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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