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California's budget comes with record spending … and a call for restraint

California's budget comes with record spending … and a call for restraint

In his budget plan for 2018-19 - his final one as governor - Brown is moving beyond a traditional formula that funds colleges based primarily on how many students they enroll.

As for state deficits, they generally arise when states project high future spending growth even when revenues are stagnating. The sole way of preparing is to observing your spending amount each year and accumulates the emergency fund.

Sen. Holly Mitchell, who leads the Senate's budget committee, said the state must do more to aid Californians living in poverty and suggested Brown's plan doesn't do quite enough.

His proposal would set aside $3.5 billion for the state's rainy day fund, the reserve he championed in 2010 as a means for California to soften the blow of future recessions.

A fact often ignored by those who want to amend Proposition 13 is that California governments are flush with cash despite Proposition 13's tax limitations.

"We can not ignore the fact that not all Californians have benefited from our state's renewed prosperity", Ting said, while unveiling his budget priorities last month.

In stark contrast to the $27 billion budget gap of 2011, the 2018 fiscal plan reflects a healthy one-time surplus and increases funding for education, health care and other core priorities.

California general fund spending increases have been substantial under Brown, as shown in the chart below using the latest state data. While total spending has still grown since 2011, advocates for a variety of social services programs have frequently been disappointed that Brown refuses to go along with plans to fully restore some of the services cut during the depths of the recession. His May budget revisions could include a response to federal changes. Both houses of the California legislature are controlled by Democrats.

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The governor's January proposal is an opening gambit in the long march toward a budget that is to be adopted in June, before the July 1 beginning of the fiscal year.

Spending fell 6 percent Brown's first year, but then bounced back strongly, rising 46 percent from 2012 to the enacted level for 2018.

The Legislature approved 15 bills last year to encourage housing construction to help fill an annual 180,000-unit of homes that need to be built over the next 10 years to alleviate the housing crisis.

Senator Bill Dodd, D-Solano, agreed that education is one of those critical services worth the investment.

The state's fiscal health is especially crucial as it faces myriad challenges: record natural disasters, housing shortages and changes to federal tax regulation - all while it ramps up opposition to the Trump administration on several major policy fronts. "The federal tax measure did not just stick it to California's individual taxpayers - it will also likely have a devastating impact on our state budget".

State senate leader Kevin de León introduced legislation last week that would allow California taxpayers to donate to a fund and deduct 100% of the donation, essentially turning state tax payments into a deductible charitable contribution. Corporation taxes were 40% higher at $2.47 billion for the month.

In 2015-2016, 43 percent of the state's more than 2 million community college students qualified for free tuition as low-income students through a fee waiver now called the California College Promise Grant. The $131.7 billion proposal includes a number of goals, including filling the state's rainy day fund to its constitutional target, implementing California's K-12 Local Control Funding Formula two years ahead of schedule and providing $4.6 billion for the first year of a 10-year transportation improvement plan.