Health Care Advocates See Missed Opportunity In Brown's Proposed Budget

Alicia Farmer
January 12, 2018

"Yes, we have had some very good years and program spending has increased steadily", said Governor Brown in his budget letter to the Legislature.

Brown said that in the past the state has experienced 10 recessions since World War Two and we must be prepared for the next one.

"If it were to pass, it would be a blow to California's economy", Brown said of the repeal drive. He begins his previous year in office with state revenues gushing in by the billions of dollars.

Another $4.6 billion would go toward transportation projects, including $2.8 billion for roads and bridges and $721 million for passenger rail and public transit.

Community college tuition for full-time California residents ranges from roughly $1,100 to $1,400 a year, depending on course load.

Seven years later, the state's fortunes have flipped, thanks to one of the longest economic expansions in modern history and to voters' decision to pass the Proposition 30 tax hikes in 2012. The proposed budget will provide $11,614 per pupil in the next fiscal year, compared with $7,008 in 2011-12.

"The good news is that California now has a substantial budget surplus", said Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, vice-chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee.

Dodd added that he'll be working with the state's administration and colleagues in the Legislature to expand efforts on disaster recovery and preparedness.

Jerry Brown unveils $132 billion California budget for 2018-19

Republican Senator Tom Berryhill, who represents district eight, says, "Governor Brown's budget only proves what Republicans have been saying all along: Taxes are too darn high".

Brown is using some of a projected surplus to speed up the full funding of his 2013 education reform, the Local Control Funding Formula. "I would like to see more increases in Supplemental Security Income cost of living allowances, and investments in human services, particularly as it relates to deep poverty and CalWORKS", referring to the state's program for impoverished families.

State senate leader Kevin de León introduced legislation last week that would allow California taxpayers to donate to a fund and deduct 100% of the donation, essentially turning state tax payments into a deductible charitable contribution. According to the new budget plan, a lack of action to fund the health plan would have stiff consequences for the state: "failure by Congress to extend funding beyond March 2018 would increase state costs by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2018-19".

In addition, Campaign for College Opportunity officials stated the governor proposes an ambitious new funding formula for California Community Colleges that rewards better student outcomes by investing additional revenue in colleges for the number of students they graduate, the number who graduate within three years, and the number of students who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer.

The proposed budget now moves on to state lawmakers who have until June 25th to approve a spending plan.

As the state won't know for months the impact of the GOP tax bill, Yee said, "Brown is wise in exercising caution with responsible short-term spending, boosting rainy day fund reserves, and paying down debt".

Many in Mr. Brown's party, which wields the power to raise taxes with two-thirds majorities in both state houses, have pushed for increased spending on social programs as the state has recovered from the last recession.

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