Republican Budget Plan Next Up After Proposal by Democrats Fails
On Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers' budget proposal failed to win the required two-thirds support in the Assembly, setting the stage for a vote today on a Republican proposal that would tap into reserve funds for mental health services and early childhood health and education programs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/17).
The proposals aim to help close the state's budget deficit, now estimated at $41.8 billion through mid-2010 (California Healthline, 12/16).
The plan called for $6.9 billion in spending cuts and $11.3 billion in tax increases, including increases to the sales tax, a tax on oil production and a tax on alcoholic drinks.Â
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has voiced support for the tax increases (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/17).
On Monday, Republicans offered a $22 billion proposal that would not increase taxes (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/17).
The plan would seek voter approval to reallocate $3.9 billion from Proposition 63 reserves and $2.1 billion from Proposition 10, which created First 5.
In 2004, California voters approved Proposition 63 to increase the state income tax on residents whose annual incomes exceed $1 million to fund mental health services.
In 1998, voters approved Proposition 10, which increased the state tobacco tax for early childhood health care and education programs.
The proposal also would cut $716 million from Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (California Healthline, 12/16).
Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has indicated that he is drafting a budget plan that could be approved on a simple majority vote, potentially sidestepping Republican legislators who oppose tax increases.Â The plan would include a mix of spending cuts and fee hikes that do not require two-thirds approval from the legislature (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 12/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.