Brown Convenes Summit To Lay Out Facts on State Budget Gap
On Wednesday, Gov.-elect Jerry Brown (D) and other state leaders presented information about California's budget situation to a group of about 400 lawmakers and local government officials during a special summit, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The governor-elect did not reveal any major details about how he plans to address the state's fiscal problems (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 12/9).
Budget Situation Could Worsen
During the meeting in Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium, Brown announced that California's estimated $25.4 billion deficit over the next 18 months could grow to a $28.1 billion gap if the federal government makes changes to laws on estate and inheritance taxes (Joseph, "Total Buzz," Orange County Register, 12/8).
Brown noted that state leaders have fewer resources to fill the budget gap this year because federal stimulus funds are drying up and tax rates are scheduled to decrease. According to Brown's finance officials, about 85% of the fixes included in this year's budget package are expected to expire within the next year or never materialize (Sacramento Bee, 12/9).
Other Budget Information
During a series of presentations, Brown and other top officials noted that:
- Health care accounts for about 22.3% of the state's general fund expenditures, while education accounts for about 40.6% and human services accounts for roughly 10.8%;
- About 71% of the state's expenditures pass through to local jurisdictions that provide services;
- California could face between $100 billion and $500 billion in future pension liabilities ("Total Buzz," Orange County Register, 12/8); and
- The state could be on the hook for as much as $3.5 billion in costs for implementing the federal health reform law (Harmon, Contra Costa Times, 12/8).
Brown plans to hold additional budget meetings before being sworn in as governor.
His next gathering is scheduled to take place on Tuesday in Los Angeles (Sacramento Bee, 12/9).
Headlines and links to other coverage of Brown's budget summit are provided below.
- "Jerry Brown Warns State Budget Deficit Could Grow" (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/9).
- "Jerry Brown Opens Summit on State's Fiscal Crisis" (Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/9).
- "Brown Says Calif. Faces Painful Budget Choices" (Lin, AP/Ventura County Star, 12/8).
- "Budget Crisis Is Worse, California Legislators Are Told" (Nagourney, New York Times, 12/9).
- "California Budget Shortfall Is Bleak" (Woo, Wall Street Journal, 12/8).
- "Brown May Ask Voters To Rip Off Budget 'Band-Aid'" (York, Los Angeles Times, 12/9).
Headlines and links to broadcast coverage of California's fiscal situation are provided below.
- "California's Deficit To Grow To $28 Billion Next Year" (Small, "KPCC News," KPCC, 12/8).
- "Governor-Elect Brown Looks for Explanation, Solution for State's Budget Woes" (Small, "KPCC News," KPCC, 12/8).
- "Transition of Power: Brown Hosts Budget Forum, Shares Grim Fiscal News" (Russ, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 12/8).
- "California Not Alone in Budget Woes" (Lieszkovszky, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 12/8).