Gov. Brown Seeks Smaller Education, Child Care Cuts in State Budget

Brandon Parsons
May 13, 2017

"Now is not the time for the legislature to create new spending we cannot afford", she said.

Here's are some highlights of California Gov.

Brown proposes to use much of the tobacco tax increase to cover normal growth in Medi-Cal, a publicly funded health plan that covers 1 in 3 Californians. 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. Brown proposes releasing the money once administrators show they've made progress on spending recommendations and other reforms.

Although Brown's new spending plan takes into account the state's potentially bleaker funding prospects, it makes no major changes to state health programs for now.

- Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, chair of the Senate Budget Committee: "It's certainly an improvement over the January proposal", Mitchell said, adding she's "thrilled" to see more funding for child care and education.

The final 2017-2018 budget must be approved by June 15.

The governor's May revision is the next building block in finalizing the budget process.

Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes, a Yucca Valley Republican, called Brown's latest budget "a bait and switch", citing voters' approval previous year of tax increases that he said were meant to fund health and dental care and support schools. The Democratic governor called for more than $3 billion in cuts because of a projected deficit he pegged at $1.6 billion.

During a news conference to reveal a revised state budget, Brown acknowledged that he has "issues" with the university but defended its leader, former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

"I put the $50 million there to hold their feet to the fire", Brown said.

Brown also wants to reverse a proposed $500 million cut for low-income childcare that he sought in January and revise his proposal to shift almost $600 million in costs to counties.

Gov. Brown's plan also includes $6.5 million more for the Department of Justice, and 31 positions, to handle more workload related to the legal challenges by the state to the federal government on sanctuary cities, and other policies, effectively reversing a proposed cut in the governor's plan in January.

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

The governor's revised budget raised revenue projections from his January plan by $2.5 billion, historically the kind of news that has offered a shot of adrenaline into efforts by lawmakers to expand state spending. His budget also would cancel his proposal to shift $600 million in costs to counties, which supervisors warned their budgets could not absorb. County staff will evaluate the net affect on county services before the Board of Supervisors considers the 2017-18 county budget June 13.

California's fiscal turnaround, led by a record-setting stock rally, a resurgent real estate market and Silicon Valley's boom, has been welcomed by bondholders as the state's credit rating was boosted to the highest since the fallout from the Internet stock bubble's collapse.

"As Governor Brown was scheduled today to release his updated spending plan, the Legislature passed 40 budget bills containing no content - zip, zilch, zero".

"I am not in the business of opining on my colleagues", Brown said. For K-12 schools, funding levels will increase by about $4,058 per student in 2017-18 over 2011-12 levels.

Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, issued a statement condemning what he called a "shell game" in the California Legislature to hide controversial spending policies into the budget without public scrutiny.

The revised budget also proposes spending $387 million in funds from Proposition 1, a water bond passed by voters in 2014, for flood control projects in the Central Valley and the Delta.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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