Jerry Brown unveils $132 billion California budget for 2018-19

Jerry Brown unveils $132 billion California budget for 2018-19

Gov. Jerry Brown was in full professor mode as he unveiled chart after giant chart on Wednesday morning inside the Capitol, laying out California's financial situation and his plans for the coming year.

"We can talk about spending now and cutting later, or filling the reserves and continue our spending right along", Brown said. California is now rolling in dough, with a $7.5-billion general fund surplus expected in the next fiscal year.

Noting that a modest recession could cost the state as much as $20 billion yearly, Brown proposes building up the state's rainy day fund from $8.4 billion to $13.5 billion in order to at least limit some of the harms drastic cuts in spending prompted by a recession could cause. Cities and towns will see significantly more money in their coffers - $2.7 billion compared to $1.6 billion previous year - to pay for local street and road repairs, thanks to the gas tax.

Brown, who was elected to his first two terms as governor in 1974 and 1978 before returning to the governor's mansion in 2011, has positioned California as a bulwark against the conservative policies of Republican U.S. President Donald Trump by vocally advocating for continuing healthcare expansion and combating climate change.

The proposal provides more than $9.5 million for California's public libraries, an increase from last year's budget. "Let's not blow it now". "Strategic funding by the state of California to increase college success by providing fiscal incentives to improve time to degree, transfer, and graduation is long overdue", she said.

In 2013, the state enacted the K-12 Local Control Funding Formula to increase support for the state's neediest students and restore local district flexibility over how money is spent in schools.

The highs and lows of any given economic cycle could compress on the state's infamous unpredictable tax revenues.

State senate leader Kevin de León introduced legislation last week that would allow California taxpayers to donate to a fund and deduct 100% of the donation, essentially turning state tax payments into a deductible charitable contribution.

The $132 billion spending proposal includes notable investments in education for foster youth in the state; a new home visiting program for moms receiving welfare; and a bid to divert some young adults from prisons into juvenile facilities.

"The key to this budget is that California has a very volatile tax system", Brown said. The ballooning costs are an issue Brown will face in his final year in office despite his earlier efforts to reform the state's pension systems and pay down massive unfunded liabilities.

Due to the Great Recession that began in 2008-9, Brown had to manage through a $25.4 billion budget deficit he inherited in his first year back in the governor's mansion after a 28-year interlude. They noted that the governor's plan does not include specific funding for UC's plan to add 2,000 California undergraduates in fall 2018 and its desire to add 500 more graduate students.

The proposed budget - the starting point for five months of negotiations with the state Legislature - comes as the state is on track to end the 2018-19 fiscal year with one of the largest surpluses in the last decade.

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