Jerry Brown is the state’s new governor, but he’s got the same old problem with the budget—over the next 18 months the upcoming deficit will swell to $28 billion. Brown’s proposed budget, released this morning, relies on $12.5 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes. Brown is calling for the temporary continuation of taxes while the state pays off debt, an eight to 10 percent cut in take-home pay for most state employees, a “vast and historic” restructuring of government operations, and changes to the role that state and local governments play in local development activities. “These cuts will be painful, requiring sacrifice from every sector of the state, but we have no choice,” Brown said. What else is on the Governor's budget chopping block? Is his plan workable? Is it enough? Can lawmakers and voters live with the painful austerity measures?
Frank Stoltze, KPCC reporter
Jean Ross, Executive Director, California Budget Project
Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor representing the Third District
Raphael Sonenshein, Professor, Political Science, CSU Fullerton; his latest book is Los Angeles: Structure of a City Government. He is also the author of The City at Stake: Secession, Reform, and the Battle for Los Angeles and Politics in Black and White: Race and Power in Los Angeles.
Jessica Levinson, Director of Political Reform at the Center for Governmental Studies; Adjunct Professor at Loyola Law School, teaching Campaign Finance
Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California