March 21, 2018

California proposes more spending on schools and roads

12 January 2018, 11:47 | Opal Carroll

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

Brown's final California budget stashes billions in reserve

Brown's presentation warned that leaner times are near.

Sacramento-During Wednesday's announcement, Governor Jerry Brown's budget calls for $131.7 billion dollars in spending with a focus on education.

"California has faced 10 recessions since World War II, and we must prepare for the 11th", he said. "Yes, we have had some very good years and program spending has increased steadily". "Let's not blow it now". By the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year, the fund will have a total balance of $8.4 billion, equaling 65 percent of the constitutional objective. He said the Legislature should determine whether the Internal Revenue Service could issue a regulation to completely subvert the fund.

Overall, his plan largely avoids new spending, instead putting $5 billion in surplus money into the state's rainy day fund.

UC also would receive a 3 percent increase to its general fund under the proposed budget. The two payments would bring the total Rainy Day Fund to $13.5 billion.

Brown is using some of a projected surplus to speed up the full funding of his 2013 education reform, the Local Control Funding Formula.

Brown's budget proposal comes amid federal budget uncertainty.

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"I thank the governor for maintaining the three-year commitment to increasing access and funding for early childhood education opportunities, including providing another almost 3,000 preschool slots, and for proposing a $167 million competitive grant for inclusive early education and care".

The 2018-19 budget presented on Wednesday proposed to open the online college by fall 2019. 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.

"Governor Brown's budget proposal provides a big boost to our public school students". As the new formula is implemented, no district will receive less funding than now provided. "Lately, it's been between 1 and 3 percent".

Brown stated that they haven't collided with recession yet but soon will. However, that may not be enough to avoid tuition increases that both universities are considering even though Brown wants to keep tuition unchanged.

According to the progressive Observer blog, the California Democratic Party's progressive leadership blames Jerry Brown for suppressing efforts to ban hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), offer "debt free" college, and implement the National Nurses United's single-payer healthcare plan. It includes $2.8 billion to fix roads, highways and bridges. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that 30 percent of undergraduate students enrolled in at least one online education course in 2016, up from 27.1 percent in 2014, Inside Higher Ed reports. The 2018-19 budget will include $4.6 billion in transportation funding, including $2.8 billion on high priority investments to fix neighborhood roads, state highways and bridges; $721 million for investing in the improvement and modernization of local passenger rail and public transit; $556 million to invest in trade and commute corridors; and $200 million for matching locally generated funds for high-priority transportation projects.

California continues to work towards a state goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The entire state budget is $190 billion, which includes bond revenue and special funds. The plan for these funds will be announced in conjunction with the Governor's State of the State Address.

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