February 1, 2012 California Dreamin’: Short-Term Solutions & Long-Term Plans
When a governor sends a budget to the legislature with a $5 billion hole in it, does it really fill his requirement of submitting a balanced budget? That’s what Governor Jerry Brown (D) did last month as he said he would fill the $5 billion budget gap (on $89 billion of revenue) by persuading his electorate to pass an initiative that would increase “temporary” taxes and “weight fee” revenues to the tune of $5 billion. Governor Brown had little wiggle room in this matter since he promised in last year’s campaign not to raise taxes, despite the structural deficit, unless he went to the voters for approval. Nevertheless, if the initiative does not pass, Governor Brown’s budget cuts K-12 school spending $4.8 billion, $400 million from California universities, and $125 million out of California court budgets. Complicating the cuts if the initiative does not pass is the technical fact that the schools would feel almost double the fiscal pain, since the full-year cuts might be enacted in the sixth month of the fiscal year after the November election.
If that doesn’t sound like a way to “best manage” a budget, one has to consider…Read More