Various state lawmakers commented on the Governor’s budget proposal
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson –
“The $3 billion increase in education funding proposed by the Governor is welcome news to schools across the state where students are eager to learn; parents are engaged; and teachers, administrators, and school employees are working day and night to help our students achieve.
“Providing schools the resources they need is our shared responsibility, and the Governor’s proposal — after $18 billion in cuts over the last three years — offers us a chance to begin to meet it.
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“The May Revision also foreshadows the stark choices we face if Republicans and Democrats cannot reach agreement on a long-term solution to the financial emergency in California’s schools.
“The alternative to the Governor’s plan is to impose devastating additional cuts that our schools cannot afford — further crowding classrooms, laying off even more teachers, and shortening a school year that is already one of the shortest in the industrialized world.
“I also look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to recognize the importance of completing work on the data systems we need to meet federal mandates and promote student achievement.
“World-class public schools and universities were the economic engines that for decades fueled California’s success. I urge the Legislature to quickly embrace the Governor’s plan to invest in our classrooms and our future.”
Los Angeles County weighs in –
Los Angeles County is closely analyzing the details released today in Governor Brown’s May Budget Revision. Additional details of the potential impact on the County will be released as they become available.
“The biggest impact to us, by far, within the May Revision is the continuance of Governor Brown’s plan to shift responsibility for certain programs from the State to counties, known as realignment” said William T Fujioka, Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer.
“We’re pleased that Governor Brown remains committed to working with Los Angeles County on a realignment plan that includes secure and permanent funding to operate the programs he proposes shifting. The requirement for a permanent long term funding source for these programs has been conveyed by our Board of Supervisors on many occasions over the last several months.”
An initial review of the May Revision reveals a few, but significant changes to the original proposal in January. This includes removing the realignment of fire protection services, a $52 million proposal that would have eliminated the state’s current reimbursements to handful of local governments for fire and emergency services.
Also changed from the January proposal was a plan to shift from the state to counties the responsibility for providing mental health services to special education students (under AB 3632). The program will now be realigned to local school districts instead of counties.
“We need to understand how the Governor proposes to provide the secure, long-term revenue to counties needed to fund realignment,” said Fujioka. “At this point is it unclear how he plans to proceed.”
One of the most pressing matters is the imminent loss of over $82 million in State Vehicle License funding for our Probation Department, which is set to expire on June 30th, unless some action is taken to extend this funding. This problem compounds other workload and funding reductions in Probation over the years. Without an immediate resolution by the State, we have no choice but to consider tough measures for that Department in the coming months, including potential layoffs.
State Senator Sharon Runner –
“The May Revision to the state budget restores many proposed cuts to education as a result of an additional $6.6 billion in unexpected tax payments.
“With this surge of new revenue to the state’s coffers, it is disappointing to see the Governor’s on-going call for tax increases.
“Many Californians are making financial sacrifices on a daily basis. Surely, it is not too much to expect the State of California to start making those same tough choices.
“We cannot ask families who are struggling to make ends meet to sacrifice more in order to pay for the state’s spending spree.
“Governor Brown’s continuous call for tax increases is especially worrisome as the monies collected would likely pay for his ill-fated public safety policy, which would result in the release of thousands of felons.”
Board of Equalization Member Senator George Runner –
“Overtaxed Californians will find little to cheer in the Governor’s revised budget proposal.
“Despite the Governor’s concession to postpone higher income taxes for a year, he continues to push for legislative approval of higher sales taxes and car taxes this year.
“And although the Governor dropped his effort to abolish enterprise zones—and the jobs they create—he continues to miss the big picture: Californians need jobs, not higher taxes.
“Our best hope for new revenues isn’t higher taxes, but new jobs fueled by a recovering economy. Unfortunately, the Governor has yet to truly lift a finger in the fight for California jobs.”