Gov. Brown Asks for $12.5 Billion in Cuts, Extension of Taxes

"These cuts will be painful, requiring sacrifice from every sector of the state, but we have no choice," Brown said today in remarks about the release of his budget for the next 18 months. "For 10 years, we've had budget gimmicks and tricks that pushed us deep into debt. We must now return California to fiscal responsibility and get our state on the road to economic recovery and job growth."

Brown's budget, which proposes a "vast and historic" restructuring of government operations by returning decisions to local governments, assumes a total gap of $25.4 billion over the next 18 months: $8.2 billion this year and $17.2 billion the next.

Included is an eight to 10 percent cut in take-home pay for some state workers and a call for the temporary continuation of some taxes for five years. "Since it will take some time to fully implement these changes, I propose to ask the voters for a five-year extension of several current taxes so that we can restructure in an orderly manner," Brown explained.

One thing that won't be cut is K-12 education. "Schools have borne the brunt of spending reductions in recent years, so this budget maintains funding at the same level as the current year," Brown said.

However, as noted by KQED, his budget projects $2.3 billion less in funding because of the economy, and $500 million will be cut each from the University of California and California State University.

Other reductions in spending include $1.7 billion to Medi-Cal, $1.5 billion to California's welfare-to-work program (CalWORKs) and $750 million to the Department of Developmental Services. Another $200 million will be cut "through a variety of actions, including reorganizations, consolidations and other efficiencies," according to a press release.

The image on this page was taken by flickr user Steve Rhodes. It is used under a Creative Commons License.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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