Archive for June, 2011
(SACRAMENTO) 30 June 2011 — Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the new 2011-2012 state budget, a day before the start of California’s new fiscal year.
The governor made a total of about $270 million in line item vetoes (reductions or cuts in appropriations), with two of note to education supporters. The vetoes eliminated the California Postsecondary Education Commission at a savings of $1.9 million. He also vetoed $2.1 million in federal funding supporting CalTIDES, a data system aimed at tracking teacher performance. The governor did not veto funding for CalPADS, the student data system, an item he had proposed in January to defund.
In announcing the budget signing, the governor’s office also released a list of the line item vetoes the governor made before penning the spending plan into law.
Below is the news release announcing the budget enactment. A link will take you to the list of the governor’s vetoes.
Governor Brown Signs Honest, Balanced and On-Time Budget
SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed the 2011-12 California State Budget (SB 87), dropping General Fund spending to the lowest level in decades, returning authority to local government and closing the state’s $26.6 billion deficit.
The budget makes substantial cuts to government programs and reduces state spending by $15 billion. As a result, California’s General Fund spending—as a share of the economy—is now at its lowest level since 1972-73. The budget also takes critical steps to address the state’s long-term fiscal challenges by eliminating more than three-quarters of the structural deficit, putting
in-place a $500 million reserve and making a commitment to secure stable funding for core services moving forward.
“This is an honest but painful budget that returns California’s General Fund spending to levels unseen since the 1970s. We’ve cut our deficit by $15 billion dollars and achieved financial balance this year. This is a huge step forward. But California’s long-term stability depends on our willingness to continue to pay down debt and live within our means,” said Governor Brown.
The budget recognizes that, since the May Revision, California’s tax revenues have continued to increase, providing billions of dollars to help close the budget gap and fund education under Proposition 98. Current projections are that $4 billion in revenue will be collected during the next fiscal year. As a safeguard, however, if these revenues are not realized, billions of dollars in
additional cuts will be triggered to maintain a balanced budget.
The mix of cuts and revenue allow Governor Brown to maintain two key budgetary priorities, protecting K-12 education and funding the historic realignment initiative. Realignment stops the revolving door in California’s state prison system by making lower-level offenders eligible for incarceration, alternative sanctions and supervision at the local level, which is believed to be far more effective. Realignment is supported by the state’s police chiefs, peace officers, sheriffs and probation officers.
The budget includes $23.8 million in line-item vetoes.
The 2011-2012 California State Budget, in full, is available at: www.ebudget.ca.gov.
The Sacramento Bee’s Kevin Yamamura spells out how a budget trailer bill – AB 114 — will help protect teachers and other educators against layoffs tied to any mid-year cuts triggered by a shortfall in anticipated revenues.
The 2011-2012 fiscal year budget agreement provides staggered “cut” triggers that will fire if new state revenues drop significantly below the projected level of $4 billion.
It is anticipated that the projected revenues will allow districts to rescind more of the 20,000 layoff notices given to teachers by May 15.
Yamamura explains that as a result of the measure, Chapters will have the opportunity to bargain over any layoffs. Districts will also have three years over which to balance their budgets, instead of a single year.
Read more about what the Bee calls a “big win” for the California Teachers Association in the story:
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) June 28 – The leader of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association is commending Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic Senators and Assembly Members for approving the best budget they could, given Republican lawmakers’ efforts to “hijack” the spending plan and block an extension of temporary state revenues that would have further protected schools.
In a prepared statement released to the media on June 28, CTA President Dean E. Vogel noted that the budget agreement reached by the governor and legislative Democrats on June 27 “is certainly not a perfect budget plan, but it is what Democratic lawmakers and the Governor were able to do in light of the Republicans’ refusal to work with them to pass a budget that would temporarily extend revenues to protect our students, schools and our state.”
At the same time, the CTA leader cautioned that the 2011-2012 spending proposal is “far from what our schools and colleges need to provide all students a quality education….[but] it protects [students and schools] from much worse cuts and will help local school districts and colleges plan for the coming year.”
The CTA President pointed out that the plan includes a deferral of $3 billion in K-14 funding and $300 million in new cuts in higher education funding.
“This year as thousands of educators were laid off, class sizes pushed higher, the school year shortened, student programs eliminated, and college tuition fees increased, Republican lawmakers simply watched and offered no honest solutions that would even maintain California’s current level of funding to public education……Republicans hijacked the state budget process and refused to put the needs of our children above their own special interests. Our students deserve a better example and a better chance at a well-rounded and adequately-funded education,” said Vogel.
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) 27 June 2011 – Gov. Jerry Brown, Assembly Speaker John Perez, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced during a Monday afternoon “media availability” at the Capitol that they had reached a budget agreement that will not require a single Republican vote to enact.
The measure, which the governor reminded reporters needs to be fully vetted and approved by both houses, relies on $4 billion in new revenues that the governor says are “already in hand” and other higher-than-earlier projected revenues that could bring in another $4 billion in the coming year, the governor said.
During the 12 minute and 52 second availability, the governor said the budget agreement is balanced and provides “triggers” that would cut education and other vital public services by an additional $2.6 billion if the revenues do not come through.
The governor commended Democratic lawmakers in both houses for making the additional cuts necessary – tough cuts – that balanced the budget for this year. These cuts, he said, included further reductions of $650 million each for the University of California and the California State University systems.
“It’s a good budget, the governor declared,” but it’s not the budget I started with in January or that the Democratic leadership wanted that requires new revenues.”
The governor said it was the best budget he could get “given the fact I can’t get any Republican support” for his proposed extension of some expiring state taxes.
The governor cautioned that the state still has a “wall of debt hanging out there,” and he said this structural deficit is a direct result of former-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to cut the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) and then “back-fill” local government money with state funds.
The governor said he would be looking “seriously at a ballot measure to generate revenue to create financial stability,” an option that was available last March but was rejected by Republicans.
Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg stated that the “agreement [is on] a budget that is balanced and to the greatest extent possible protects education, jobs, and the California economy.” He recounted that Democrats had cut more than $12 billion from the original budget, in addition to $2.6 billion in additional cuts that could come as a result of the trigger.
“Earlier this year, the governor asked Democrats and Republicans to get out of their comfort zones…for Democrats, that meant having to make vital cuts in vital programs,” the Pro Tem said.
He charged that Republican lawmakers had abdicated their responsibility by not helping forge a budget solution. He said that if their behavior of the past six months should continue, the Democrats would continue to show their willingness and ability to take charge.
“Republican legislators stonewalled the process…for months and as a result we will not be having a special election this year,” Assembly Speaker Perez told reporters. He anticipates trying to put a revenue measure on the November 2012 ballot measure so that the state can secure the funds to close the structural deficit and pay down the “wall of debt” that has plagued the state for more than a decade.
Democrats passed a budget that will not cause massive layoffs or compromise the state’s economic recovery, the speaker stated.
“There was not a willingness to sign on to the extensions, no matter what we did,” the governor emphasized during a brief question and answer session with reporters. He noted that he came to the conclusion last night after receiving a text message from a Republican that made it clear that it was impossible to secure the two GOP votes needed in each house to move a budget with the tax extensions.
The governor said the Republicans evidenced “almost a religious reluctance to deal with the state budget in a way that involves new revenues.” He said despite his proposals to make changes to public pensions, implement a spending cap, and relax state environmental regulations, the Republicans would not provide the four votes needed to move a budget with tax extension language, language that required a two-thirds majority.
The governor warned that the trigger cuts, should they become necessary because of “over-optimism” about revenues, would reduce the school year and do other further damage to public education.
Governor and Democratic Leaders Announce Budget Deal that Relies on Cuts, Rising Revenues, and a Trigger
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — In a Monday afternoon media availability at the state Capitol, Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez announced a budget deal they say will provide the state with a balanced budget for 2011-2012 and “legally and creatively” comply with the provisions of Proposition 98, the school funding protection provisions of the state constitution.
The governor noted that the budget agreement will “balance the budget in a year….but to put California on a firm glidepath….in absolute balance….that does take new revenues.”
Earlier press reports indicate that the deal projects an increase of about $4 billion in state revenues and includes a “trigger” that would reduce funding to education and other vital services if those revenues don’t come through.
The governor praised Democrats in the legislature for making the deal and recognized that lawmakers on his side of the political aisle “don’t like making cuts and the [potential] ‘trigger cuts’” that could reduce funding to education and other vital services if projected rising revenues do not materialize.
During the media availability, the governor and lawmakers hit Republican legislators for obstructing the budget process. Pro Tem Steinberg declared that Republican lawmakers had in effect abdicated their responsibility, leaving it up to Democrats to make the hard decisions. The Democrats will continue to act on majority votes if we have to, the Pro Tem told reporters.
Both the Pro Tem and Assembly Speaker John Perez told reporters that they had the votes in their respective houses to pass the agreement and send it to the governor.
During his comments to reporters, the governor stated that Republican lawmakers seem to have a “religious reluctance to deal with the state budget.”
Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton fired off the following response after the budget announcement was made – “Californians deserve better than the ‘Hope without Change’ budget the Democrats announced today. This latest budget is based on the hope that $4 billion in new revenues will miraculously materialize, but does absolutely nothing to change government as usual.”
Bee: New Democratic Budget Might Be in Works – Failure of Projected Revenues to Materialize Would Trigger Mid-year Education Cuts
The Sacramento Bee’s Kevin Yamamura is reporting that Democratic legislative leaders have been meeting with the governor over a new budget plan that would project an increase of $4 billion in state revenues for the coming year. Under terms of the proposal, funding for public schools and other vital public services could be reduced mid-budget- year 2011-2012 if revenues were to fall below the newly projected levels, according to the report on the Bee’s CapitolAlert website.
The pending spending plan would reportedly also shift some state revenues to counties, reducing the state’s obligation to schools under Proposition 98, the voter-approved initiative that placed a minimum funding requirement in the state Constitution, according to the story.
The Bee reportage suggests the governor is moving away from his strategy of trying to get four Republican votes for a bipartisan budget that would include an extension of the state’s temporary taxes. Lawmakers and the governor are working to have a new budget in place prior to the July 1 start of the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
Note that the situation in the Capitol could change rapidly, and education supporters would be well-advised to continue pressing their lawmakers to honor their promise and protect public education from additional devastating cuts, including any technical actions that would reduce the minimum funding schools would receive.
CALL HIS LOCAL OFFICE!
The state budget battle continues with the Governor still searching for two Republican votes in the Assembly and two in the Senate to pass the temporary tax extensions. Republicans are still refusing to engage at all. On June 16, the Governor vetoed a budget passed on a majority vote by Democrats.
It’s time to keep fighting for more revenues and get the four votes needed for tax extensions. It’s also time to say NO to an “all-cuts” budget that would devastate our schools, colleges and essential public services.
CTA and the Education Coalition are calling on all lawmakers to make public education a priority and protect students from more cuts.
Call your own State Senator and tell him/her that our students deserve better. Sen. Cannella’s constituents: Please make your call and let Sen. Cannella know that education funding must be a priority. He must support a budget that protects schools, colleges and other essential services.
Sen. Anthony Cannella’s District OfficesModesto (209) 577-6592
Merced (209) 726-5495
Salinas (831) 769-8040
Sen. Bill Emmerson represents SD 37 in Riverside County. The senator was a legislative staff member nearly 30 years ago, before earning his D.D.S in dentistry and M.S. degree in Orthodontics. He was first elected to the Assembly and has served in the Senate since 2010.
During his 26-year dental career in Hemet, he played a key role in establishing a dental hygiene program at Riverside Community College. During his legislative tenure, he authored legislation to help combat poor oral health by requiring all school children to have an oral health assessment during kindergarten or their first year in school, ensuring that children receive the dental care they need.
Bill and his wife, Nan, have two daughters, Kate and Caroline, and two family dachshunds, Bridget and Hank.
Recently, Senators Emmerson, Tom Berryhill, Sal Cannella, and Tom Harman released the following statement in response to the governor’s veto of the legislative budget:
“While the Governor did the right thing by vetoing the Democrats sham budget, we challenge his assertion that Republicans have blocked the right of the people to vote.
“In fact, it’s the Democrats who are holding California hostage by refusing to allow the voters to weigh in on meaningful structural reforms — not just Governor Brown’s tax proposal.
“We have been consistent and clear from day one – let the people vote on the reforms that would end our state’s chronic budget deficits and put Californians back to work. Let them have a say in the future of California. Let’s get this done.”
Contact Sen. Emmerson at: Capitol office: 916-651-4037 Riverside office: 951-680-6750 Palm Desert office: 760-568-0408
Senator Tom Harman represents 35th Senate District, including Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Cypress, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and portions of Buena Park, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster.
The senator has consistently supported legislation to limit the size and scope of government. He states that throughout his legislative career, he has signed and honored his pledge to vote against all new taxes.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Kansas State University, Harman joined the United States Army and served as a lieutenant in the 4th Infantry Division. After completing his tour of duty, he entered Loyola Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 1968.
Upon graduating from Loyola, Harman joined the Long Beach law firm of Lucas & Deukmejian, whose partners were future California Chief Justice Malcolm Lucus and future governor George Deukmejian.
He and his wife Dianne have been married for over 40 years and have two children, Michael and Michelle.
Capitol office: 916-651-4035
Costa Mesa office: 714-957-4555
Senator Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, represents the 15th Senate District, including the coastal counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and the county of Santa Clara. He is the Senate’s Minority Leader.
Senator Blakeslee previously served in the California State Assembly from 2004-2010.
The senator prides himself as one of the legislature’s “most bipartisan members.”
The senator is a product of California’s community colleges, completing Cuesta Community College before earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UC Berkeley and his Ph.D. in geophysics from UC Santa Barbara.
Sen. Blakeslee has played a key role in the past in negotiating budget agreements. He has touted his ability to secure agreements for spending plans that contain “no new taxes,” reduce state spending, and include reforms.
The senator and his wife have two school aged daughters who attend local public schools and a son working toward his Ph.D. in Economics at Columbia University.
The senator is slated to celebrate his 56th birthday on Saturday, June 25, 2011. Call his office, wish him a happy birthday, and urge him to vote for the temporary tax extension and a budget that protects school funding.
Monterey office: 831-657-6315
San Jose office: 408-277-9461
San Luis Obispo office: 805-549-3381
With a June 30 end of the fiscal year in sight, CTA is airing radio commercials pressing the govenror and lawmakers to honor their promise to protect school funding.
The 60-second spots begin running on Friday in selected media markets around the state.
“Our schools are in a state of emergency,” said CTA President David A. Sanchez. “Our teachers, students and entire education communities deserve better, and they’ve been calling on the governor and lawmakers for months to protect students, schools and colleges from further cuts. The governor promised to make schools and students a priority in the state budget and to protect them from further cuts. We expect him and all lawmakers to uphold that promise.”
The radio spot urges Californians to contact the governor and their lawmakers to tell them to pass a budget that protects our students and California’s future.
The radio spots — in English and Spanish — can be found at www.cta.org.
With school funding already cut to the core, representatives of the Education Coalition today called on the Governor to uphold his campaign promise to protect public education from further budget cuts. They also urged the Legislature to adopt and send a budget to the Governor that includes a continuation of the temporary tax revenues and makes schools a priority.
The need for such a budget constitutes a true emergency, as schools must adopt their own balanced budget before July 1.
Education Coalition representatives highlighted the Governor’s ongoing pledge to protect K-12 schools from harmful state budget cuts in recognition of the disproportionate cuts schools have been forced to take in recent years. The Coalition also highlighted lawmakers’ responsibility to provide schools the level funding required under voter-approved Proposition 98, which according to the May Revision is $52.4 billion. More than 140 school districts already are in financial jeopardy, and many more districts will be unable to sustain their programs for students without a balanced budget that protects education funding.
“Our schools are in a state of emergency,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Association. “Our teachers, students and entire education communities deserve better, and they’ve been calling on the Governor and lawmakers for months to protect students, schools and colleges from further cuts. The Governor promised to make schools and students a priority in the state budget and to protect them from further cuts. We expect him and all lawmakers to uphold that promise.”
“Without a balanced budget soon, many of our schools will be out of cash and unable to provide the education every child deserves,” said Jo Loss, president of the California State PTA.