Gov. Brown introduces revised California budget

May 14, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a revised state budget proposal today, one that’s lower than was projected earlier this year. He’s also cautioning against new spending, which the New York Times reports is “disappointing to Democratic lawmakers who had hoped that rising state tax revenues would finance social programs after years of austerity.”

“The revised budget of $96.4 billion for the next fiscal year – a $1.3 billion reduction in spending, compared with the $97.7 billion plan announced in January – includes increased spending for education. Schools will benefit from a temporary tax increase on the wealthy that the voters approved last fall; the tax, approved under Proposition 30, helped the state close its chronic budget deficit.”
The entire revised budget proposal can be read online here. 
Why the revision now? Well, as Karen Weise of Bloomberg Businessweek explains:
“In California, the governor first proposes a budget in January, and then updates it in what’s called the “May Revise,” with is based on new revenue and economic outlooks. The legislature then has until June 15 to pass a final budget that the governor will sign. Brown’s “May Revise” trims spending slightly, from $97.7 billion in the January proposal down to $96.4 billion now. He did this in part because the federal government didn’t extend the 2 percent payroll tax reduction that expired in January and he doesn’t want the state to bank on income that won’t be there later.”
Though the new budget revision focuses on education and paying down state debts, it leaves many of the state’s other problems unaddressed. That includes the state’s courts, which have had to drastically cut back on services and hours, which has in turn delayed numerous cases. No extra funding is provided for the court system in Brown’s revision, nor does it include extra funding for the state’s beleaguered prison system, which is fighting court orders to improve care and/or reduce inmate populations.

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