State Budget: Finally, more money, but Brown still holds back

Gov. Jerry Brown released his FY 2016-17 budget plan last week. Here are some initial reactions:

California Budget & Policy Center: “Budget Proposal Misses Opportunity to Invest in Californians, Focuses Instead on Adding to Reserves” (PDF)

Despite this stronger-than-expected revenue growth, the Governor’s proposed budget misses a chance to boost investment in broadening Californians’ economic opportunity and security while still saving for a rainy day and paying down state debts. …

While heavily emphasizing growing the reserves, the Governor’s proposal misses several opportunities to strengthen vital public services and systems. … Despite a strong revenue outlook, the Governor’s budget proposal falls short of presenting a plan that adequately prepares the state for future growth by striking a balance between saving for a rainy day and addressing the state’s biggest challenges: stagnating wages for low- and middle-income Californians, widening income inequality, and public supports weakened by years of disinvestment.

Sacramento Bee: “Jerry Brown’s $171 billion budget proposal bolsters reserves, school spending”

Gov. Jerry Brown, issuing a $170.6 billion state spending plan Thursday, proposed billions of dollars in new funding for schools, climate change programs and services for the elderly and disabled.

But the fourth-term governor, who took office amid a crippling recession, repeatedly warned of the possibility of another economic downturn, rejecting calls for more robust spending increases.

SF Gate: “Brown’s $122.6 billion budget favors education, social programs”

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday introduced a record $122.6 billion budget for 2016-17, calling for spending increases in education and a boost in the earned income tax credit for the poorest working families, and providing the first cost-of-living increase for the elderly, blind and disabled since 2006.

LA Times: “Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget helps schools and the poor — and saves a lot for a rainy day”

By now, it could easily be called Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget doctrine — an insistence on only modest expansions in state services but liberal payments for one-time expenses and accumulated government debt.

Orange County Register: “California’s schools, roads gain in Gov. Brown’s proposed budget”

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a $170.5 billion state budget proposal Thursday that divides a projected revenue boon among bolstering reserves, paying down debt, increasing funding for education and roads, and restoring some social services cuts made during the recession.

CSAC: “California Counties Respond to Governor’s Budget”

It can generally be characterized as a “good news” budget for counties. The proposal balances a variety of competing needs with fiscal responsibility to create budget stability for the state. In turn, this proposal provides greater stability for counties that remain responsible for delivering numerous state programs and services.

Gov. Brown delivers his 2016 State of the State address before both houses of the California State Legislature on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m. Watch it live on the California Channel.

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About Randy Lyman

SEIU Local 1021 Communications Dept.

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