California Gov. Jerry Brown & Democrats reached budget agreement

California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders have reached a tentative agreement on the state budget that is expected to pass by a simple majority in the Assembly and Senate without Republican support.

The proposed budget will:

  • Implement more than $12 billion on cuts to education (including $650 million from the CSU and UC budgets), social services to the elderly and the poor, state court ($350 million), and other state services.
  • Rely on $4 billion in anticipated tax revenue to prevent further cuts. Steep cuts to state services will be triggered if the additional revenue does not materialize.
  • Fully fund Gov. Brown’s realignment plan.
  • Eliminate 75% of the state’s structural deficit.
  • Exclude tax extensions on the ballot in 2011. Brown and the Democrats are considering a ballot initiative in 2012 to temporarily extend tax increases to resolve the remaining structural deficit and pay down the state’s debts.

“This budget is the most austere fiscal blueprint California has seen in more than a generation,” said Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. “Spending levels are at historic lows. Every sector of society will feel the difficult choice we’ve made to bring the budget into balance.”

Brown and Steinberg criticized Republican lawmakers for stonewalling any efforts to place the proposed tax extensions on the ballot. Brown needed four Republicans – two in the House and two in the Assembly – for the two-thirds majority required to put the measure before the voters in November.

“At the end of the day, there was just not a willingness to sign on to the extensions, no matter what we did,” said Brown.

The agreement was reached a week after the Democratic majority passed a budget that was vetoed by Brown and deemed “incomplete and unbalanced” by State Controller John Chiang.

“It’s a good budget but it’s not the budget that I started with in January and the Democratic leadership wanted. That was a budget that had revenue,” said Brown. “”Given the fact that so far I can’t get anywhere with Republican support, at least sufficient for a two-thirds vote, we’re going to have to look very seriously at an initiative to generate the revenue to create the financial stability.”

State Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) attacked the Democrat’s budget agreement. “The new proposal from the Governor and legislative Democrats assumes that $4 billion will automatically appear,” Huff said. “That’s a wand that Harry Potter would be proud to wield.”

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  1. Pingback: Transcript: LAO press conference on the 2012-13 California Budget | What The Folly?!

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