Gov. Jerry Brown set to propose budget with new spending and saving
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown will propose a $106.8-billion budget on Friday, increasing state spending on schools, healthcare and welfare for poor Californians.
Brown will also propose stashing $1.6 billion in a rainy day fund as a buffer against future economic turmoil.
A copy of the budget proposal was obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
The document is evidence of California’s financial turnaround after years of spending cuts. In an introductory message, Brown says the state has turned the corner on a “decade of intractable deficits.”
The proposal includes nearly $10 billion more for schools and community colleges than was previously anticipated.
Brown also proposes $670 million in new healthcare spending for mental health, dental care and substance abuse. And he wants to boost welfare checks by 5% and expand child-care for low-income families in hopes the parents will be able to re-enter the workforce.
Despite the upbeat tone and new spending, Brown cites other challenges, including nearly $218 billion in unfunded retirement liabilities and billions more in other outstanding obligations and debts.
He said the state must be cautious to avoid running headlong into new financial problems.
“The state’s fiscal history is riddled with budgets that made permanent obligations — both spending increases and tax cuts — based on temporary revenue increases,” the governor’s proposal says. “After these spikes in revenues disappeared — as they always do — the state was forced to cut programs and raise taxes. This budget seeks to avoid this unproductive boom-and-bust cycle.”
Brown is also pushing forward with a proposed ballot measure to help the state save tax revenue as a buffer against future economic recessions. The measure, if approved by the Legislature, would be on the November ballot.
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