Reaction to the Governor’s proposed budget came swiftly on Thursday. State associations, public officials, and elected leaders in Sacramento all weighed in on the Governor’s budget. Within hours of the release, PublicCEO received the following statements:
California State Association of Counties:
Hours before releasing his proposed 2012-13 budget, the Governor reaffirmed his commitment to counties to constitutionally protect funding for 2011 Realignment. Both at CSAC’s Board of Directors’ meeting this morning and again during his budget release news conference, Governor Brown emphasized his view that counties can deliver services more efficiently and effectively than the State. CSAC is gratified by the Governor’s unwavering commitment to our partnership and his shared goal of ensuring that realignment is successfully implemented.
Counties also agree that decimation of safety net programs is not in the best interest of the State. Unfortunately, the budget, as proposed, will make significant reductions to many vital services, and CSAC is concerned about the effects these cuts will have on vulnerable Californians. We trust that our ongoing relationship will allow us to continue a dialogue with the Governor and Legislature in search of solutions that achieve a balanced approach to the state’s continuing budget problems.
Senate President Darrell Steinberg:
“Together, we have made a giant dent in a once overwhelming budget deficit. The price has been high for students, working families and those struggling to improve their lives. Those cuts have real consequences on the lives of real people, and I am wary of immediately continuing down that path.
Between revenue estimates by the Legislative Analyst’s Office in November, and the Department of Finances numbers in December, projected revenues increased $1.5 billion. If that trend continues even slightly, we may avoid the need to make the kinds of cuts the Governor now suggests. While in the end we may have to cut more, doing it now should be a last resort.
We will begin budget hearings this month on the 2012-13 budget.”
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar):
“The Governor’s plan is a good first step but relies far too much on a $7 billion tax hike that voters are likely to reject. Senate Republicans are pleased to hear the Governor admit that the economy is improving. Revenues are up by 3.5% this year and are projected to grow at a faster pace in the years to come. We remain focused on working with the Governor and our colleagues in the Legislature to reduce the wall of debt and to adopt the reforms needed to make California government more efficient, effective and competitive. The anticipated growth in revenues will help us to bring spending in line with revenues without a $7 billion increase in taxes.”
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties.
Assembly Speaker John Perez:
“The Governor’s budget plan reflects the fact that even though California’s economic recovery is gaining strength, we still face a year of difficult choices. His plan underscores the need for new revenues to avoid cuts that will be a major drag on the recovery, and I am looking forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues to produce an on-time budget that reflects California’s values by our June 15th deadline.”
Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway:
“It is disappointing to see Governor Brown propose yet another reckless budget scheme. His plan relies upon a painful $35 billion tax increase on hard-working California families so Sacramento can grow General Fund spending by 7 percent. With the economy improving and revenues on the rise naturally, we must live within our means.
“The Governor’s budget also expands his dangerous public safety realignment plan, which will lead to more criminals being housed in communities across the state. Ironically, the Governor’s budget will grow Corrections spending, despite the fact that 10,000 inmates have been sent to already overcrowded local jails.
State Controller John Chiang:
“The Governor’s budget proposal further tears at essential public programs which many Californians depend on for basic health and education. But California’s long-term fiscal problems require tough actions, and I support the Governor’s resolve to take the difficult steps to solve our budget shortfall.
“We will have a better picture of the State’s finances when I release updated cash figures early next week, and I will continue to work with the Governor and Legislature to permanently end the painful practices of budget stalemates, delayed payments and IOUs.”
High Speed Rail Authority Chairman Thomas Umberg:
“We are pleased to see the Governor’s continued commitment to the State’s high-speed rail project. Governor Brown’s leadership and long-term vision for the future of this State will benefit generations to come. Modern transportation infrastructure is fundamental to California’s future economic and environmental well-being. We look forward to working with the administration to present the detailed proposal later this year.”