Brown unveils plan for broad cuts, tax extension

Angel Sequeira holds a sign during a rally against the proposed California budget cuts in front of Gov. Jerry Brown's office on Jan. 10, 2011 in Los Angeles. Several union and community activist groups representing the disabled attended the rally.
Angel Sequeira holds a sign during a rally against the proposed California budget cuts in front of Gov. Jerry Brown's office on Jan. 10, 2011 in Los Angeles. Several union and community activist groups representing the disabled attended the rally. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Governor Jerry Brown released a California state budget today that makes deep cuts to almost every area of government funding. We're posting the latest information on the budget, its effects and response.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. | Permalink

Sen. Huff feels some déjà vu with Brown budget

When asked what Brown's budget meant to him, Sen. Bob Huff (R-CA) said during KPCC's Patt Morrison program, "Groundhog day comes to mind."

Huff maintained that the budget issue the state faces today hasn't changed in the last four years: Republicans have been saying that Californians would have to "live within our means, but that just hasn't happened yet," he said.

When asked the biggest question of the day – will Republicans cooperate with Brown's budget? – Huff held the line begun by the 40 state Republicans who earlier signed a no-tax pledge, stating "it would be irresponsible for any Republican" to accept a tax increase without knowing more about it.

Even allowing a tax increase to go to the ballot would be aiding taxes in the eyes of many, said Huff.

- Patt Morrison & David Lumb

Updated at 3:25 p.m. | Permalink

Republicans to block tax vote

Republican leaders waited outside Brown’s press room to deliver their verdict on the governor's budget.

Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, vice chairman of the budget committee, said he'd seek to block Brown's move to place a tax increase before voters.

“They’ve got to get the Republican votes – the two-thirds votes to get it out of here" and on the ballot, Nielsen said. "If he gets it to the ballot in some miraculous way, then the voters will judge. And I expect they will say no.”

Nielsen argued that there's room for deeper cuts to education and social services.

At the same time, he praised Brown's budget candor.

“I think that the governor is willing to make some tough choices. He is trying to be decisive. I like his general mindset of working on a long term solution," Nielsen said.

"I believe there are fewer gimmicks in this one than I’ve seen in some past budgets and I compliment him for that.”

- Frank Stoltze

Updated at 3:15 p.m. | Permalink

LAUSD superintendent says a tax increase needed to help K-12 education

While K-12 education was spared by Gov. Brown's proposed budget cuts, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines said on KPCC's Patt Morrison program that this is a temporary measure.

"Unless voters vote to increase taxes in June, there will be a major hit [to K-12 education] of about $200 million to $400 million," Cortines said. "We depend on those voters to continue those taxes, we depend on bargaining units to continue furlough days."

Any glimmers of economic recovery are too inconclusive to allow spending of money that won't be there, said Cortines, who expects recovery to take another five to six years.

- Patt Morrison & David Lumb

Updated at 2:45 p.m. | Permalink

'Very concerned about the proposed cuts to seniors and disabled'

Outside the California state Capitol building, Nan Brasmer of the California Alliance for Retired Americans expressed concern about proposed cuts to seniors and to the disabled.”

“The programs that provided adult daycare to them, the in-home support services that take care people who can not take care of themselves," she said. "I think it s a shame they’re hitting all those programs again, they’ve already been hit once. It’s sort of like they’re going after the seniors and the disabled because they think we can’t fight back.”

Many democratic leaders agree and are going to fight the cuts, while others say these cuts are necessary to deal with the state’s $28 billion deficit.

- Frank Stoltze

Updated at 12:55 p.m. | Permalink

Budget doesn't meet high-end $28 billion shortfall projection

Brown’s budget closes a “$25.4 billion deficit ... plus builds in a $1 billion reserve." The budget plan covers a total shortfall of $26.5 billion.

- Julie Small

Updated at 12:51 p.m. | Permalink

Budget likely to rile both Democrats and Republicans

"Democrats will hate the spending cuts and Republicans will hate the tax increases," said Jessica Levinson, director of political reform at the Center for Governmental Studies. Levinson spoke with KPCC's Larry Mantle on AirTalk. "With this budget, there's something for everyone to hate."

"The cuts hit hardworking people the most," Levinson said. "We have to raise revenue and make painful cuts. Everybody is frustrated. There really is no upside."

"Politically, this will take much finesse," Levinson said, emphasizing that the budget will be "the real challenge of Brown's office, right off the bat."

California already comes in 49th in Medicare-participating physicians per capita, said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Across California. Brown's proposed cuts include reimbursements to physicians participating in Medicare, which could hurt the ranking further. "It's not worth it economically," Wright said.

One "AirTalk" caller railed against Brown's $28 million office payroll, even though Brown included a 25 percent cut to the office payroll in the budget. "We need to cut in the right place, which is in the government."
 
Levinson: "It's a day of reckoning. Nobody's happy."

- Larry Mantle & David Lumb

Updated at 12:22 p.m. | Permalink

Brown says there's no other than deep cuts

In a written statement, Brown said Californians have no choice but to make these deep cuts, noting that a decade of "budget gimmicks and tricks" pushed the state government deep in debt. While sparing public schools K-12, the University of California and the California State University will get a combined billion dollar cut.

- Nick Roman

Updated at 12:09 p.m. | Permalink

Governor Brown's proposed 2011-2012 budget document

You can peruse the full 266 page budget document below. We'll be pulling out highlights throughout the day.

Earlier | Permalink

Early look at budget shows broad cuts and tax extensions

Governor Jerry Brown formally releases his state budget proposal this morning at a press conference in Sacramento. He sent out the core details of how he wants to close the state’s $28 billion deficit ahead of time.

Brown’s targeted $12.5 billion in cuts to state services – a shift of some state programs to local government and an extension of recently enacted tax increases to generate $12 billion in revenues. The plan also builds a $1 billion reserve.

Brown's cuts affect every sector of state government – he wants to reduce most state workers' pay by 10 percent; increase premiums and co-pays for Healthy Families, the state’s low-cost insurance program for low-income Californians; cut state childcare benefits for children over 10 years old; reduce the number of hours for in-home support services for elderly and disabled; shut the state parks with the lowest attendance.

Brown’s also proposed a five year extension of tax increases that expire in June for voters to approve before then. He says the estimated $12 billion in revenues from that tax extension would go to local governments to pay for new programs – state services Brown plans to shift to them.

K-12 education is the one part of state government Brown’s spared. He said schools had “borne the brunt of spending reductions in recent years.”

- Julie Small

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