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Lawmaker Reaction to Governor's Budget Proposal Mostly Positive

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 10, 2013

Democratic lawmakers- who hold a supermajority in both chambers - say whatever differences they have with the budget are small.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg agrees with the Governor that the state should pay down its "wall of debt", reserve money in a rainy day fund, and reinvest in education.

STEINBERG: "He's right when he says that fiscal discipline is not the enemy of Democratic governance, I would add a little addendum to that which is fiscal discipline is not the enemy of governance by California Democrats either. We are in this position in part because together we stepped up and made the difficult decisions."

Democrats say the extra 2.7 billion dollars in education funding is also a step in the right direction. Senate Budget Chair Mark Leno says lawmakers are now in a position to talk about policy rather than cuts.

LENO:  "We're in this little middle ground area, no more cuts but not sufficient monies to make restorations, our goal here is to reinvest in the reduced public infrastructures that have occurred over recent years"

But making that reinvestment too soon worries some Republican lawmakers. Senate budget Vice Chair Bill Emmerson says he's skeptical of a zero deficit.

EMMERSON: "We've heard that message before and by the time we get to May it's not so balanced, so the jury is out and we'll have to take a look at that as we go through the process.

Republican lawmakers say they believe Democrats are going to have a hard time saying "no" to new spending.
They're also disappointed that only an additional $2.7 billion of the more than $6 billion provided by Proposition 30 will go to fund K-through-12 education and community colleges.
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