March 23, 2018

Brown's final California budget stashes billions in reserve

13 January 2018, 02:38 | Taylor George

Brown's final California budget stashes billions in reserve

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the Chief Probation Officers of Californias Juvenile Realignment Conference Friday Oct. 20 2017 in Sacramento Calif

Gov. Jerry Brown this week predicted that his 2012 pension law will survive union challenges in court and blow a hole in the so-called "California rule" that has restricted changes to public employee retirement plans for half a century. His $190.3-billion plan for 2018-2019 puts some of the one-time windfall in the state's new rainy day fund, bringing it up to a healthy $13.5 billion, and fully funds the Local Control Funding Formula for public schools two years early.

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. Saving money now will protect teachers' jobs and tamp down on college tuition hikes down the road, he said.

Brown said Wednesday. "And for that reason, if none other, we are going to keep this steady as we go". "This is about steady as you go, or exuberance followed by regret and pain". Previously, Gov. Brown asked California Community Colleges chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley to "take whatever steps are necessary" to establish an institution that only offers online programs. He's termed out after serving four terms, first in the 1970s and 1980s and again since 2011. But he can account for those changes when he submits budget revisions in May. The plan had its first hearing Wednesday and would allow taxpayers to give a charitable contribution to the state's coffers in lieu of paying taxes.

The proposed budget - the starting point for five months of negotiations with the state Legislature - comes as the state is on track to end the 2018-19 fiscal year with one of the largest surpluses in the last decade. Assemblymember Tim Grayson, who represents Benicia as part of the 14th Assembly District said in a statement that the proposal would work toward all Californians and suggested that any surplus money should be invested in the state's future.

"Just like our blueprint is the beginning of a discussion, his is as well", Ting told reporters. Brown's budget propounded $131.7 billion in prevalent fund revenue.

"Modesty is not good enough", said Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat.

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Anthony Wright, executive director of the nonprofit Health Access California, cites an expected $6.1 billion surplus he said could have been used to move California toward universal health care coverage. Assembly Budget Committee vice-chairman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) calls infrastructure a "fundamental requirement of government that's slipped away over the years". And his $12 billion spending plan for the state's prison and parole system includes new money to train ex-felons to become firefighters.

The proposed budget marks the first time the state's coffers will be bolstered from sales taxes on marijuana, which became legal for recreational use on January 1. "This year shows that, because if we didn't start with a $1 billion reserve we would be in deficit".

Due to the Great Recession that began in 2008-9, Brown had to manage through a $25.4 billion budget deficit he inherited in his first year back in the governor's mansion after a 28-year interlude.

Brown voiced interest in that proposal Wednesday, telling reporters, "I'm certainly open to it".

The state senator went on to say that the governor "has continued his record of proposing thoughtful spending".

The proposal for the project states the target demographic is "students who do not yet have a postsecondary credential and whose schedules do not fit into traditional, classroom-based settings"-though any California resident would be able to take courses and programs at the online college".

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