California Healthline Daily Edition

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Calif. GOP’s Budget Plan Would Cut Deficit With Health-Related Funds

On Thursday, California Republicans released a budget plan that would eliminate the state's budget deficit without raising taxes, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Republicans argue that the state can balance its budget without new taxes because the economy is recovering and revenue is increasing.

Several of the proposals included in the GOP plan are similar to those included in Gov. Brown's fiscal year 2012-2013 budget proposal.

In addition, the GOP plan includes proposals similar to ones Democrats have relied upon in the past or have been suggested by the Legislative Analyst's Office.

Details of GOP Plan

The GOP plan incorporates cuts and borrowing proposed by Brown, including $4.2 billion in spending cuts -- $1 billion of which would come from CalWORKs, the state's welfare-to-work program -- and $1.4 billion in accounting maneuvers and delayed debt repayment.

However, the GOP plan replaces Brown's tax revenue with $4.4 billion from additional cuts, transfers and other revenue sources, including:

  • $1.3 billion from Proposition 63 tax funds allocated for mental health services;
  • $400 million from a plan to reduce state worker pay by 4.6%, which equals one monthly furlough day;
  • $226 million from tobacco taxes, the majority of which is allocated for First 5 early childhood health and educational programs; and
  • $158 million from reducing hours and pay for In-Home Supportive Services employees.

Republican lawmakers also called for a spending cap measure to be placed on the November ballot.

Democrats' Response

Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said the GOP plan is a "rehash of some of what we've heard before."

Steinberg said Democrats "believe in the tax package," adding, "We believe that's a better solution than one-time solutions that don't get us anywhere" (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 3/30).

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