February 22, 2018

Repeal and Repent! Jerry Brown Demands Republican 'Penance' on Obamacare

13 May 2017, 10:47 | Rex Hubbard

California's Brown Girds for End of Bull Run With Fiscal Caution

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"The worry is that the Legislature will say "spend more" when the reality is that we should spend less".

"We've got to make sure that we provide access to health care here in California and that we don't divert money into other pet projects for politicians", the Yucca Valley Republican said. But Brown has proposed withholding $50 million in funding to the University of California in light of a scathing state audit that found $175 million in hidden reserve funds at UC Office of the President.

Brown also wants to give the attorney general's office an additional $6.5 million to hire 31 people for its work suing the federal government over Trump's policies. Brown proposes releasing the money once administrators show they've made progress on spending recommendations and other reforms. This will be the first year of budget negotiations since voters approved a ballot initiative requiring legislation to be in print for 72 hours before it's approved by the Legislature, a factor that could complicate negotiations that often go down to the wire.

While the state's revenue projections are $2.5 billion rosier than those forecast in January, they are worse than what was anticipated a year ago.

If they want to keep getting paid, state legislators have until June 15 to pass a budget.

Jerry Brown released his revised state budget on Thursday. "Voters were promised that these tax revenues would be used to pay for health care, dental care and education, yet the Governor's plan ignores that and redirects it for other purposes".

"That's a lot of red", said Brown, describing potential future cuts as "ugly".

Brown's overall budget plan is for $124 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion compared to January.

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"While we await the governor's May Revision, this is another signal that we may be inching toward an economic downturn, and we must tailor our spending accordingly", Yee said.

Brown in January proposed a $122.5 billion budget that kept general fund spending mostly flat.

On Thursday, the governor also warned that defunding the Affordable Care Act, or eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood, could send the state budget into turmoil. He has led California to adopt some of the most ambitious anti-pollution policies in the United States, even as President Donald Trump's administration in Washington works to boost the US coal industry and threatens to pull out of the Paris climate accord. County staff will evaluate the net affect on county services before the Board of Supervisors considers the 2017-18 county budget June 13.

Sen. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta, said the governor and Democratic leadership in the Assembly and Senate were giving no indication of a willingness to "control spending".

The state auditor was particularly critical of UC President Janet Napolitano, who has disputed auditors' findings. The California Legislative Women's Caucus applauded Brown's child care proposal.

Brown also sparked controversy by proposing to use much of the money from a tobacco tax increase approved past year by voters to cover normal growth in Medi-Cal, a publicly funded health plan that covers 1 in 3 Californians.

Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, issued a statement condemning what he called a "shell game" in the California Legislature to hide controversial spending policies into the budget without public scrutiny. For K-12 schools, funding levels will increase by about $4,058 per student in 2017-18 over 2011-12 levels. A stopgap federal spending bill, meanwhile, passed Congress with bipartisan support and maintained existing federal funding for state programs.

The revised budget came one day after state revenue reports revealed that April personal income tax returns lagged $700 million behind expectations.

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