As legislative budget conference committee members discuss the state budget, Senate Republicans outlined their priorities to create a bi-partisan budget that is sustainable.
While there are many positive elements in the Governor’s budget plan, it proposes a new record high spending level of over $267 billion and is precariously balanced. This is $13 billion more than last year’s budget. This rapid state spending increase will not be manageable in the future.
Senate Republicans support the following budget priorities:
- Invest in education – keep faith with voter-approved constitutional spending requirements for schools under Proposition 98.
- Continue to build the state’s new rainy day reserve as promised in Proposition 2.
- Pay down state debt and address unfunded liabilities like pensions that jeopardize our state’s fiscal future.
- The Department of Finance projects that under the Governor’s current spending policies, California will return to operating deficits in excess of $2.5 billion by 2018-19.
- Keep Proposition 30 taxes temporary. The dramatic increase in revenue from Proposition 30 taxes is short-term; and the Governor promised voters that these tax increases would be temporary.
- Invest money in infrastructure. Our roads and highways have been neglected for years; we pay a high cost for rough roads, spending more for repairs and maintenance, tire wear and increased fuel consumption. Gov. Brown has stated it will take close to $60 billion over the next 10 years just to get our roads and highways back in shape.
- Hold University of California to agreement to not increase tuition and increase state student enrollment.
- Heed the independent Legislative Analyst’s warning: “We are clearly on the upward slope of the state’s revenue roller coaster. But just as the state's revenue picture has improved significantly over just a few months, it can just as easily reverse course with a stock market or economic downturn. It is prudent that the Legislature act with fiscal restraint.”