Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Governor Brown Proposes 2018-19 State Budget

Governor Brown Proposes 2018-19 State Budget

For the sixteenth time in his four terms as governor, Jerry Brown proposed a balanced budget by January 10.

"California has faced 10 recessions since World War II, and we must prepare for the 11th", he said. Brown said Wednesday. "And for that reason, if none other, we are going to keep this steady as we go".

Brown's new General Fund budget is a record $131.7 billion, a 4.1% increase over a year ago. Legislative Democrats may not object to the governor putting $3.5 billion of that pot into the Rainy Day Fund to meet its constitutional target of 10 percent of the state's general fund.

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. "I believe Gov. Brown's budget reflects a thoughtful starting point for this year's budget negotiations".

California Faculty Association President Jennifer Eagan says that, under the governor's proposal, tens of thousands of qualified students would be turned away every year.

Citing "widespread interest in treating the emerging adult offender group similar to today's juvenile offender population", Brown's new budget proposes creating a "young adult offender pilot program" at two sites in the state. "Let's not blow it now". "This is just the beginning of the dance", said state Sen.

In 2013, the state enacted the K-12 Local Control Funding Formula to increase support for the state's neediest students and restore local district flexibility over how money is spent in schools.


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.

"You have our piggy bank, which is the Rainy Day Fund. The governor could start by refunding the money to Californians who paid the now suspended fire prevention fee, and by reconsidering the need for his catastrophic gas tax hike".

While Mr. Brown warned of a slowdown Wednesday, he also touted increased funding in the state's public schools and infrastructure programs as well as his efforts to pay down debt taken on by previous administrations.

The 2015 and 2016 budgets allocated $960 million to the most critical deferred maintenance projects such as levees and high-priority state facilities including office buildings and the Capitol Annex, according to the budget document.

The proposed budget for K-14 education will grow to $78.3 billion, its highest level ever, and up $31 billion over the past seven years. The Legislature discusses the budget proposal and, with a majority vote, must pass budget bills by June 15. Over the same time period, funding for state financial aid that primarily supports low-income and first-generation students has increased by $623 million to a total of $2.3 billion. An update to the budget will come out in May, and the state Legislature and the governor must come to agreement on the final spending plan for 2018-19.

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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