Jerry Brown’s budget cuts deep, looks to extend tax hikes, reshapes government
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Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil a stark budget plan for California on Monday, proposing to slash welfare spending in half, cut nearly 20% from the state’s university system and reduce healthcare coverage for the poor -- while aksing that voters approve an array of tax increases.
Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement he is proposing a budget composed roughly of half cuts and half taxes to confront a budget shortfall that his office has estimated at $25.4 billion.
Brown said his $84.6-billion general fund spending plan “will be painful, requiring sacrifice from every sector of the state, but we have no choice,”
The only area largely spared deep reductions in spending is K-12 schools, he said.
Tax subsidies for redevelopment would be axed and hundreds of millions of dollars for “enterprise zones” meant to stir hiring in depressed areas would be reallocated. State workers not under a collective bargaining contract would have their pay cut by 10%.
Brown is calling on legislators to pass his plan by March to allow for a June special election, during which voters will be asked to extend for five years current hikes in taxes on their purchases, incomes and vehicles.
Specifically, the budget plan would cut:
• $1.5 billion from welfare
• $1.7 billion from Medi-Cal
• $500 million each from the UC and CSU systems
• $750 million from services for the developmentally disabled
• And $200 million from the state bureaucracy.
-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento