California's budget comes with record spending … and a call for restraint

Marijuana Taxes

His $190.3-billion plan for 2018-2019 puts some of the one-time windfall in the state's new rainy day fund, bringing it up to a healthy $13.5 billion, and fully funds the Local Control Funding Formula for public schools two years early.

In addition, Campaign for College Opportunity officials stated the governor proposes an ambitious new funding formula for California Community Colleges that rewards better student outcomes by investing additional revenue in colleges for the number of students they graduate, the number who graduate within three years, and the number of students who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer.

But Brown characteristically urged caution, pointing out that previous recoveries from economic downturns haven't lasted.

"[We] must remain vigilant and not let rosy statistics lull us into believing that economic downturns are a relic of the past", Brown wrote.

UC also would receive a 3 percent increase to its general fund under the proposed budget.

Jerry Brown released the final budget proposal of his tenure as California Governor and it followed a similar script to years past.


Brown's budget proposal also allocated $100 million to fund a new online community college program and funding to cover all tuition and fees for first-time California community college students next year. Last year, some members of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and faculty leaders expressed skepticism about online instruction being an effective option for students. "California community colleges are serving 2.1 million students each year, but we are still not meeting the needs of 2.5 million others who for a variety of reasons can not attend classes on our campuses", he said. The online college would provide a new affordable pathway to higher wages through credentials for those who don't now access the California community college system.

Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Riverside County, supported the governor's plan to bolster the rainy day fund, but suggested that the level of the surplus gives the state plenty of room to return some of the money to taxpayers "to mitigate any negative impacts that may come from the recently adopted federal tax reform legislation". Brown's spending plan acknowledged the uncertainty caused by federal policy, including Congress' failure to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Republican Senator Tom Berryhill, who represents district eight, says, "Governor Brown's budget only proves what Republicans have been saying all along: Taxes are too darn high". Brown said Wednesday that the state is projecting a $6.1 billion surplus for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

"If it were to pass, it would be a blow to California's economy", Brown said of the repeal drive. The proposed budget will provide $11,614 per pupil in the next fiscal year, compared with $7,008 in 2011-12. They want $2 billion to be used for reserves, $2 billion to pay down pension liabilities and $2 billion to go to local government to fund housing incentives, homeless shelters and fix local streets and roads.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Solano, who is chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, is pleased with that particular move.

Frazier added that the increased investment in K-12 and higher education contained in the budget proposal will make "quality education more accessible to California families".

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