California Governor Jerry Brown was joined by Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez to confirm a three-way budget deal.
All appeared proud of their agreement, which was reached with time to spare before Saturday’s legislative budget deadline. Steinberg pointed out meeting that deadline is becoming routine.
“Ho-hum, another on time, balanced budget in California,” he says. “This is the third year in a row and this one feels even better than the first two.”
Perhaps it felt better because the state was able to restore some services this year. Money went to healthcare, schools and welfare. though, environmentalists are angry the budget calls for borrowing $500 million from the state's cap-and-trade program.
California will spend about $96 billion next fiscal year and put $1.1 billion in a reserve. And Brown says he’s going to try to make the money last as long as possible.
“We have boom and bust. Money comes in, money goes out,” Brown says. “And I’m trying to be a good, prudent steward of the people’s money.”
Brown won kudos from Republicans like Senate Budget Vice-Chair Bill Emmerson for keeping new spending to a minimum. Still, Emmerson had some critiques.
“I would liked to have seen more paying down the wall of debt and increasing the amount of money in the reserves and limiting new spending in programs,” he said.
Republicans also complain they were kept in the dark about many budget details.