SACRAMENTO (March 29, 2012) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) today joined fellow Republican lawmakers to propose a "Roadmap to Protect Classrooms and Taxpayers," which he said would secure funding for public schools and higher education institutions, while avoiding the Governor's disastrous trigger cuts and $9 billion tax increase.
"We want to make sure voters have a choice beyond tax increases," said Nielsen. "In the Republican Budget Roadmap we show that education can and should be our highest priority by funding it at the same programmatic level as the Governor's proposal without tax increases."
The Republican Roadmap contains $4.4 billion of alternative budget solutions that the Legislature could enact to prevent the Governor's proposed trigger cuts to education. Under the Governor's January budget proposal, K-12 education and community colleges would face $4.8 billion in additional trigger cuts, which would reduce programmatic funding by $3 billion over last year's budget. Highlights include:
- Holding schools harmless by making sure schools get the money they are entitled to under existing law.
- Continuing past viable budget solutions by looking to solutions used over several previous budgets. If they were viable solutions in the past, they should be used again this year to avoid devastating cuts to our school system.
- Dedicating increased revenue to schools by devoting anticipated tax windfalls, such as the settlements from lawsuits the state is expected to win.
- Streamlining government and halting new programs by making existing programs more efficient and not starting new programs.
"We must achieve concrete, long term reforms, like a spending cap, a rainy day fund and pension reform to solve our state's perpetual budget problems," said Nielsen. "Raising taxes just funds business as usual in government, leading to no lasting or real solutions."