Jerry Brown proposes deep cuts to schools if voters reject tax plan


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Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2012 budget calls for $4.8 billion in cuts to public schools if voters reject the tax increases he is trying to place on the November ballot.

The budget, which says the state faces a $9.2-billion deficit, was erroneously released online Thursday, several days before the governor was due to roll it out. His office was scrambling to arrange an early-afternoon news conference to discuss it. The Times obtained a copy of the document.


It paints a better fiscal picture than just a year ago, when the state faced a $26-billion deficit. Brown’s budget anticipates closing the current gap through a combination of spending cuts and the tax increases, which would kick in at year’s end, providing $4.4 billion in revenue.

Even if those tax increases pass, the governor proposes slashing welfare by nearly $1 billion and Medi-Cal by $842 million, as well as making other reductions in education. Should the tax initiative be rejected, the additional education cuts would kick in. Those reductions are the equivalent of three weeks of the school year, the document says.

A majority of the Legislature needs to approve the budget before it becomes a reality. Democrats who control the Capitol say they don’t want to make additional cuts until they get new revenue estimates in May, in case the economy continues to improve and erases more of the deficit.


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-- Anthony York and Nicholas Riccardi in Sacramento