LEGISLATURE | BUDGET | Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s fiscal budget proposal this week seeking to balance the first state budget deficit since 2012 with $1.6 billion in cuts, local East Bay state legislators and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors weighed-in:
ASSEMBLYMEMBER ROB BONTA
“The Governor’s budget takes a cautious view of the state’s revenue picture. While that is a wise approach, we must carefully prioritize how we spend our limited funds,” Bonta said this week. “This is the beginning of the process to craft a spending plan that reflects our California priorities and values. I look forward to a healthy discussion that leads to an outcome that is fiscally responsible and worthy of our great state.”
While praising Brown’s proposed bump in spending for education, he was dissatisfied with the lack of increased spending for undocumented immigrants and cuts to affordable housing, the medical workforce and child care.
“I’m concerned about the Governor’s proposal to eliminate new funding for child care. The Governor’s budget would prevent almost 3,000 children from attending state child care programs,” said Bonta. “This would have a serious negative impact on working families. As a state, California cannot continue to be prosperous and progressive without investing in our precious future. We owe it to our children to get them off to a strong, early start in life and that includes funding for child care. I will fight alongside my colleagues to see that we don’t shortchange our children.”
STATE SEN. NANCY SKINNER
“The good news is the Governor’s proposal continues to support crucial safety net programs such as the earned income tax credit for low wage working families, the Legislature’s approved increase in the State’s minimum wage and extension of health care to millions of Californians, as well as robust climate and environmental protections. True to form, the Governor also proposes increases that shore up the State’s reserves and Rainy Day Fund.
Less good news is that this budget slows down the funding increases to K-12 schools and early care and education programs. As Chair of the Senate’s Budget sub-committee on Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary, I am particularly concerned about the projected growth in expenditures related to incarceration.
Hovering above all are the unanswered questions on how threats from Washington on healthcare, immigration, tax policy and the like, may impact California. The Governor chose not to alter his budget based on speculation but made it clear he is on alert and prepared to respond to protect Californians.”
ASSEMBLYMEMBER CATHARINE BAKER
“Californians deserve a disciplined and responsible state budget and good stewardship of every single taxpayer dollar. The state’s budget should focus on smarter water and transportation infrastructure spending, opportunity and success in education, housing costs, and our long-term debts, not on spending more money on new programs. These are the real issues facing communities across the state, and they should be a priority in any budget discussions.
I commend Governor Brown for recognizing our uncertain economic future and our need to be prudent in our budgeting. Unfortunately, this budget still needs to place greater priority on reforming our spending, including on our water and transportation systems, and on addressing our pension costs. These needs are growing by the day, and, long-term, they threaten to sap resources from other vital programs, like education and public safety. I look forward to working with the Governor’s office and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep the focus on these critical issues for California.”
STATE SEN. BOB WIECKOWSKI
“As the chair of Budget Subcommittee 2, I will work to see we continue to grow our clean economy, combat climate change and protect our state’s environment. “We must be mindful that although California’s unemployment rate has dropped sharply over the past five years, not everyone has equally benefited from our economic growth, and it’s in our best interests to assist those families who are still struggling.”
ALAMEDA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Alameda County leaders are bracing for “devastating” potential impacts of Governor Jerry Brown’s latest State Budget proposal, which calls for shifting more than $4.4 billion over six years in costs for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) to counties with no additional revenue to cover those expenses.
Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said the shift would unfairly burden counties with costs they could neither control nor afford. “This would be devastating to counties all over the state,” said Carson. “We undoubtedly would have to make cuts in other vital social services to cover these costs.”
The potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act in Congress will likely severely impact the state and county budget, said supervisors and administration. “We are clearly entering into a period of high uncertainty and expect significant challenges ahead related to County programs and services and available financing,” said Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi.