Too much spending, not enough restraint in Gov. Brown's revised budget proposal

Kathleen Mckinney
May 13, 2017

"Only about one in seven working parents with infants and toddlers have access to a licensed space, so it's really important that we continue to build the drum beat about infant and toddler care, as well".

Update 10:55 a.m.: California faces a $3.3 billion shortfall under Gov.

Brown called for about $19 billion to fund California's share of the decades-old Medi-Cal program, a sprawling health care system financed by state and federal money that services low-income people, the young, welfare recipients and others. 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.

Given that backdrop, Brown said Becerra deserves "some latitude" in pursuing litigation. "I think he should be given some latitude".

Brown and lawmakers will debate the budget during significant uncertainty about the state's financial future. State revenue has lagged behind expectations, though a surging stock market since January has boosted revenues by $2.5 billion.

Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) said Browns May Revision of his budget proposal was "a flawless Democrat con job".

The revised budget plan, which goes into effect July 1, includes a $1.4-billion increase in spending for the 2017-18 school year. Jerry Brown will travel to China to discuss clean energy policy with worldwide leaders.

Senator Holly Mitchell, chair of the Senate budget committee and a member of the Legislative Women's Caucus, said Thursday the restored funding is not just a win for kids and their parents, but for California employers.

Some cuts from the initial budget remain, but Brown contends the modestly improved fiscal outlook allows the May revision to advance several priorities.

"The governor has said and will continue to say that we should not over commit the state to higher levels of spending in the event that something not of our making changes our direction".

"What we're going to do is fight it as hard as we can so that doesn't happen", Brown said.

Among the increases: $1.4 billion more to K-12 schools; $500 million - as promised past year - for additional subsidized child care; and $400 million to counties to offset the cost of In-Home Supportive Services, which the governor has proposed shifting from the state to the counties.

He backed away from a proposal to shift $600 million in costs to counties to provide care for seniors and people with disabilities. Even so, the budget is considerably more constrained than in any year since 2012. The president has come under fire from some state lawmakers after an April audit showed her office failed to disclose the reserves - and that it interfered with a survey of campuses about the central administration's services, rendering the results invalid.

Jerry Brown is a very wily politician who during his second governorship has also been a very lucky one, as he indirectly acknowledged Thursday.

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. The constitutional deadline for California to pass a budget is June 15.

The current plan has a slightly more optimistic revenue estimate than in January-it projects $2.5 billion more revenue-and Brown has proposed restoring some cuts he pushed for in January.

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

Meanwhile state parks would get $31 million in additional funding from the 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax that the Legislature passed this spring.

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 TheDigitalNewspaper

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