Governor Brown Releases 2011-2012 Budget

- Released today at 11:00 a.m., Governor Brown’s first budget of his third term institutes deep cuts to welfare, higher education and government (among other things), while attempting to extend temporary tax measures and appropriate revenue from restricted sources.  Brown's budget also relies on a plan to decentralize a number of services to localities and support their efforts to raise revenue locally.

Program Cuts


One program on the chopping block that FYA members and followers will be particularly concerned about is THP-Plus for 18- and 19-year-olds.  According to the budget, this cut assumes implementation of AB 12 starting July 1, 2011, an assumption that will have to be corrected.  (For more information about the implications of the $19 million reduction to THP-Plus, the John Burton Foundation will be developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to be released within the next week. To have your question addressed, please email Michele at michele@johnburtonfoundation.org. An informational alert about the THP-Plus reduction from the John Burton Foundation can be found here.)

Brown is also making another attempt to appropriate Proposition 10 tobacco tax funds away from First 5, but the $1 billion would be used to cover MediCal costs for children under 5.  Also proposed are additional cuts to the University of California and California State University.  Other cuts will be leveled at Medi-Cal through the institution of co-pays and reductions to doctor visits.  CalWORKs grants will be cut, time limits shortened, and child care for 11- and 12- year olds cut.  Regional centers will see deep cuts to their funding from the state, and local libraries will see state funding cease completely.  Governor Brown’s stay of execution for K-12 education is dependent on the passing of the ballot measure to extend temporary taxes.

Revenue


Governor Brown expects to raise revenue by extending temporary tax increases and the reduction to the dependent tax credit, as well as eliminating the enterprise zone tax credit and local redevelopment agencies.  In addition, he’ll aim to borrow more from special funds, change the corporate tax formula and reappropriate truck weight fees meant for local transportation infrastructure to pay for transportation bonds.

Realignment


While the cuts aren’t that different from proposals we saw from Governor Schwarzenegger over the years, and the revenue strategies aren’t that surprising, Governor Brown’s hat trick is his Realignment plan.  This plan would decentralize a number of services (and associated expenses) back to localities.  One big one is the elimination of the State Department of Juvenile Justice.  State funding will be redirected directly to localities to house juvenile offenders, and they will be responsible for raising any needed additional revenue.  Brown has also eliminated a number of other state offices he found redundant or wasteful and plans to reduce state worker pay by 8-10% for bargaining units that haven’t come to a settlement yet.

For a full rundown of cuts and revenue strategies, check out this post in the Sacramento Bee’s blog Capitol Alert.  You can find a summary of the full text of the budget at the state’s budget webpage.

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