Governor To Unveil Revised Plan To Close California’s Budget Gap
On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is scheduled to release his revised proposal to close California's $15.4 billion budget deficit, Bloomberg/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The governor is required to update his budget plan in May to account for new revenue estimates for the next fiscal year (Bloomberg/San Francisco Chronicle, 5/15).
According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, the state has received $2.5 billion more in tax revenue than projected since the current fiscal year began last July. The higher-than-expected tax revenue could prompt Brown to rethink his budget strategy (Lin, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/15).
Earlier this year, lawmakers approved $11 billion in spending cuts to address the state's $26 billion deficit (Greenson, Eureka Times-Standard, 5/16). The measures included deep cuts to several health programs.
Brown initially planned to close the remaining $15.4 billion deficit by putting a tax extension measure before voters in a June special election, but GOP lawmakers refused to support the proposal. The governor then began considering alternative strategies -- such as a legislative vote or a fall special election -- to pass his tax measure (California Healthline, 4/28).
Effect of Tax Projections on May Revise
Unnamed officials familiar with Brown's plan said the May budget revise still would call for a five-year extension of sales taxes and vehicle fees, according to the Los Angeles Times. Officials said the governor would ask lawmakers to approve some tax extensions before July 1 and then put the measures before voters for ratification.
Officials also told the Times that the May revise would propose a four-year increase in income taxes that would start in 2012, rather than the five-year increase included in Brown's earlier budget plan. The governor would use the $2.5 billion in higher-than-expected tax revenue to fill the gap resulting from the shorter tax extension (Goldmacher/York, Los Angeles Times, 5/14).
Headlines and links to editorials on the governor's forthcoming budget plan are provided below.
- "Editorial: This Time, Lawmakers Can't Duck Hard Choices on Budget" (Sacramento Bee, 5/15).
- "Business Groups Propose State Budget Reforms" (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/16).