Gov. Jerry Brown poured cold water on the hopes of California Democrats, unions and advocacy groups as he released his state budget proposal Thursday, criticizing two major progressive priorities headed toward the November ballot.
The governor repeatedly warned of new budget deficits if the state fails to limit permanent spending increases and set aside money in the state’s new “rainy day fund.” That’s where two potential ballot measures come in.
Brown signaled a willingness to negotiate a new minimum wage increase – on top of the one that just took effect – but says the proposal to raise it to $15/hour would cost the state $4 billion.
"Raising the minimum wage can be good," Brown told reporters at the state Capitol Monday. "But it has to be done very carefully, it has to be done over time, has to take into account recessions," says Brown.
A push to extend the expiring Proposition 30 income tax increases on the wealthiest Californians fared worse. Brown criticized a provision that would exempt the revenue from the rainy day fund.
"That, in my judgment, is a fatal flaw."
The coalition backing the Prop 30 extension says it hopes to work with the governor to address his concerns. California’s largest state employee union calls its minimum wage proposal a “smart approach” because it phases in the increases to $15/hour.