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Gov. Brown Expects Cash Influx to be Short-lived; Balanced Budgets for Foreseeable Future

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
By the Capital Public Radio News Department
Updated 1:04 p.m. to correct amount of budget spending to $1.3 billion.
Update 12:48 p.m. Steve Boilard comments during the Insight program
California Governor Jerry Brown today couched his revised budget plan in cautionary terms and phrases.  He said, "We're sailing into uncertain times", with the economy slowing down.

The new budget actually calls for spending $1.3 billion less than the Governor proposed in January. Steve Boilard, who's Director for the Center for California Studies at Sacrament State University says Democratic lawmakers are not likely to be pleased with when they heard.

"Although the leadership, I think, is talking the talk, in the Assembly and the Senate,  you know the need for prudence and discipline, etc., member by member everybody has something they've promised constituents that they want to deliver. So being told 'no' now that we've finally got a tax increase, you can't really increase spending, I don't think that's going to over real well."  -- Steve Boilard

Boilard says the Governor may also encounter resistance from lawmakers over his desire to "pay down the wall of debt." 

Update: 11:08 a.m.
California Governor Jerry Brown is proposing an updated budget that he says is balanced, solid and maintains fiscal discipline against efforts to restore years of deep budget cuts.
"Everybody wants to see more spending," Brown said. "That's what this place is - it's a spending machine. You need something?  Come here and see if you can get it!  Well, but I'm the backstop at the end, and I'm gonna keep this budget balanced as long as I'm around here." 

The governor says the recent jump in state revenues will likely be short-lived.  He's calling for three billion dollars in one-time revenues to go to schools - to pay down debt that the state owes districts and to help implement new academic standards.

Brown is also proposing an extra $240 million as part of his plan to overhaul the state's school funding system.  That's a response to critics in suburban school districts who worry about losing money.

And the budget includes more money for county probation departments to offset increased costs of the governor's criminal justice realignment program.


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Brown is also proposing an extra 240 million dollars as part of his plan to overhaul the state's school funding sys
Brown's budget revision calls for state-based Medi-Cal expansion and $1 billion for schools toward common core standards.
Brown said the state "cannot afford to both assume the cost of (Medi-Cal) coverage, and continue its level of funding for county health care." The revised budget suggests the state wants to maintain the county health safety net for the uninsured, but proposes a "mechanism" to capture money from the counties.
The revised budget accounts for $1.5 billion for Medi-Cal expansion in 2013-14, with only $21 million coming from the state's general fund. The rest is federal money.
Brown said the judiciary will be getting the same amount of money as last year.
On fracking: Brown says the state needs to take a balanced view. "We ned oil, but climate change is very real." He said fracking could bring a lot of money to the state, but we should aim to get people weaned off oil.
Brown says this funding formula is fair, adding that "people in Beverly Hills are not going to move to Watts to get more public school funding."
"We just got a nice tax. Fifty-five percent of the people voted for it," Brown said. "We should take a deep breath and not talk about more taxes now."
He said the Capitol is a "big spending machine, and everyone is trying to get something." Brown says he's "the backstop" to more state government spending.
When asked how healthy the state economy is, Brown said the state had a record boom and bust, and that he wants to be more prudent. Brown said the sequester, the 2 percent bump in the payroll tax and floundering world economies are all hurting state revenue.
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