There were no lavish ceremonies or signings in multiple cities. Instead Brown’s office simply released a statement saying he’d signed the budget. And though the deal is done, there are some important fiscal decisions yet to be made. Brown has called two special legislative sessions to discuss the state’s health care system and its crumbling roads.
H.D. Palmer is with Brown’s Department of Finance.
"The governor has indicated that, given the precarious nature of the way this budget is balanced, we need to identify new funding sources to finance both transportation improvements in the state and for health care financing," he says.
Brown did veto six items in the budget, totaling about $1.3 million. None of the items affected the $115.4 billion General Fund. That is the fewest number of budget vetoes since 1982.
"The fact that there are very few vetoes, in terms of numbers of vetoes and dollars associated with those vetoes, speaks to the governor’s ability to reach a fiscally responsible budget agreement with the legislature," Palmer says.
One of Brown’s vetoes concerned the Tower Bridge. The cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento are considering whether to take over operations of the bridge from the state. An item in this year’s budget would have allowed Caltrans to pay the cities up to $15 million to take the bridge. Brown vetoed the provision. He says it’s redundant to transfer processes that are already in place. In his veto message Brown says he supports the transfer. But he says he doesn’t want to use the budget to circumvent the standard negotiating process.