Despite news that California's projected surplus had swelled to almost $9 billion, Gov.
Brown's revised May budget proposal for the 2018-19 fiscal year cites a new surplus of $8.8 billion, which is up from January's $6.1 billion projection, and he wants to put more than $7 billion of that surplus into the state's two reserve accounts.
"It can get giddy at the peak", Brown said. Brown says, "This is the time to save for our future, not to make price promises we can't keep". "It's time to save for the future - as I've said before, and I will say again: Let's not blow it now".
"What goes up must come down", Brown said Friday at the state Capitol, urging the Legislature not to squander the state's fiscal health.
Tax collections are about $3.8 billion above what Brown anticipated in January, according to the State Controller's Office. The money would immediately be available to local governments.
In the aftermath of a devastating fire season, Brown is also calling for an additional $96 million to be spent on wildfire prevention.
Brown will negotiate a final spending plan with Democratic legislative leaders. And when Brown took the stage, he was briefly accompanied by his wife, Anne Gust Brown, and their new puppy, Cali - "the newest member of our team".
Brown said he asked Cohen to work on a framework for tax reform with Sen.
She said budgeting priorities should focus on taking California out of first place for poverty nationwide, as well as "freezing tuition in our public universities, investing in public safety, catching up on our deferred infrastructure repairs and providing tax relief to all Californians".
But the blueprint unveiled Friday is hardly the final word.
Pending proposals from lawmakers include an infusion of resources to expand the state's health care system; emergency funding to cities and counties overwhelmed by the homelessness crisis; and far more spending than the governor has proposed for child care programs and the University of California and California State University systems. Jerry Brown made a special appearance at the 2018 ACWA Spring Conference & Exhibition during its Thursday Luncheon, delivering a keynote address touching on almost every challenge within the state's water community and highlighting the plan. That comes to about $4,600 more per student compared to 2011-12 levels.
CalWORKS: Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, wants to increase funding for a welfare program that offers cash assistance for poor families with children. Since the end of the Great Recession, the UC system has received $1.2 billion in new funding, the California State University system has received $1.6 billion and community colleges have received $2.4 billion.
Assembly Democrats said Monday they'll push for a $1 billion boost in spending on health care, including $250 million to provide state-funded health coverage to low-income California residents living in the country illegally through the Medi-Cal program.
"I'm hard-pressed to accept the conventional wisdom that California has a "budget surplus" of a few billion when the state is staring down more than $200 billion in outstanding debt and liabilities", said Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore.
The executive order will launch a slate of projects to improve forest conditions and increase fire protection, including a doubling of the amount of land managed by controlled burns, tree thinning and other forest-management tactics. Specifically the state could provide more funding for programs that help people with mental illness, including training for mental health professionals and early identification of mental health problems.
Brown's $138 billion revised general fund budget is up almost $6 billion from his January proposal.