State utility regulators will continue to oversee Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies for the foreseeable future under new plans unveiled by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.
But Brown proposed shifting oversight of smaller transportation options, including intrastate moving companies, charter boats and hot air balloons, from the California Public Utilities Commission to different state and local agencies by mid-2018.
The governor argued the changes would allow the agency to focus on oversight for the ride-hailing, limousine and other industries under its control.
California counties were alarmed when Gov. Jerry Brown proposed in January that they take on $600 million in costs related to the state's In-Home Supportive Services program. Now, Brown wants to offer the counties some cash to soften the blow.
In his revised budget proposal released Thursday, Brown would provide $400 million to counties in the 2017-18 budget year. That aid would decrease in subsequent years.
The extra money is meant to quell concerns from counties that feared strains on their budgets due to Brown's proposed revamp of how they shared costs of the in-home care program with the state.
Gov. Jerry Brown proposed no new money or policy changes to address the state’s housing affordability crisis in the May revision to the state budget, saying that the state shouldn’t spend money on low-income housing unless it also makes politically hard decisions to lower building costs.
“I don't think we should throw money at the housing problem if we don't adopt real changes that make housing production more efficient and less costly,” Brown said at a Thursday morning press conference. “We've got to do that first.”
In last May’s budget revision, Brown unveiled a plan to limit some local review over developments that included units for low-income families and later agreed to tie $400 million in housing funding to its passage. But lawmakers balked at the governor’s proposal and it went nowhere.
Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Thursday to increase the budget of Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra to pay for continuing the barrage of lawsuits that have been filed challenging executive orders by President Trump on immigration, the environment and healthcare.
The revised budget adds $6.5 million to provide 19 attorneys and 12 support staff focused primarily on health care, environmental, immigration and consumer protection issues, according to Chris Moyer, a spokesman for Becerra..
“There are unique litigation expenses right now and the attorney general feels that he wants to pursue those and I think he should be given some latitude,” Brown told reporters. “There are some real legal issues [raised] by Mr. Trump and his deputies there in Washington. We do have to defend our rights. I think as an initial investment its reasonable but certainly I would be watching it carefully over the next year.”
Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday the state’s scandal-plagued tax board will have to undergo reform, but it is unlikely the panel would be merged with other state financial agencies.
A recent Department of Finance audit found that the state Board of Equalization “had difficulty providing complete and accurate documentation” in response to basic financial inquiries and could not consistently explain why some tax money was misdirected to the wrong state accounts.
In response, Brown stripped the board of its power to hire and approve contracts and asked for an investigation by the state Department of Justice.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget holds back $50 million from the University of California until it adopts reforms recommended by a scathing state audit that found the system has tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed reserves and paid excessive salaries to administrators.
“I put the $50 million in there so we can hold their feet to the fire,” Brown told reporters in announcing the May revision to his annual budget. “That’s the way we will reinforce the audit. They have to make some reports and create some transparency, and we will keep the money until they perform to the auditor’s satisfaction.”
Brown stopped short of calling for the resignation of UC President Janet Napolitano when asked about it by a reporter.