The LAO report on Brown's budget proposal said the focus on keeping spending minimal and paying off debts is a sensible approach. Deputy Legislative Analyst Jason Sisney said it’s important to be cautious because much of the state’s increased revenue came from stock market gains.
“And the possibility that that will go away pretty soon, or in a year or two, are very high, so taking that money or a part of that money that we’re seeing now and setting it aside for a rainy day and paying down debts is a prudent thing to do.”
Still, there are some areas of disagreement. The LAO questions using revenues from Cap and Trade auctions to pay for high speed rail. The office also raises some concerns about Brown’s proposals to fund higher education.
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg wants to exempt vehicle fuels from California’s cap-and-trade system, which they’re currently set to enter next year. Instead, he wants a carbon tax at the gas pump.
Affordable housing projects in California lost their most reliable funding source when the state dissolved redevelopment agencies a couple of years ago. Now, there’s growing support to find money for affordable housing once again.
Governor Jerry Brown says California’s different regions make it hard to develop water policies that would satisfy the entire state. Meanwhile, a lawmaker wants to quintuple state funding to the California Arts Council.
Governor Jerry Brown has landed a big win in court. The three judge panel overseeing state prisons has given the Brown Administration an additional two years to downsize the inmate population by another 5,000 inmates.
California is “in the money” once again with January revenues surpassing Governor Jerry Brown’s budget estimates.