LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a budget Monday that would slash funding to most areas of state government and maintain a series of tax increases for five years to close California’s huge budget deficit.

KNX 1070’s John Baird Reports

The Democratic governor released his first budget proposal since winning election last fall. He called for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, including reductions in welfare, social services, health care for the poor and a combined $1 billion cut to the University of California and California State University systems.

Brown also wants the Legislature to call a special election in June to give voters an opportunity to continue hikes in the income, sales and vehicle taxes for five years. His proposal relies on new revenues of $12 billion.

The governor’s office said the only area of state spending he would protect is K-12 education.

Brown said his recommendations would close an 18-month budget gap estimated at $25.4 billion and require sacrifice from all Californians.

“For 10 years, we’ve had budget gimmicks and tricks that pushed us deep into debt. We must now return California to fiscal responsibility and get our state on the road to economic recovery and job growth,” he said in a statement.

Brown also has said he will seek to fundamentally restructure state government, shifting a host of responsibilities from the state to counties and cities, a process he has acknowledged will be complicated and controversial.

That includes eliminating redevelopment agencies and ending tax breaks available to businesses that operate in depressed areas designated as enterprise zones.

Brown said Monday that if voters approve, revenue generated from the sales tax and vehicle license fees currently set to expire in July would go to local governments to help pay for the changes.

The governor’s proposal to extend taxes will require support from Republicans in the state Legislature who have vowed to oppose all taxes. It’s a politically risky move after Californians rejected an extension of the taxes just two years ago as part of a package of ballot measures.

Brown campaigned on a promise not to raise taxes without voter approval.

“Without decisive action, the state’s severe budget problems will persist, threatening economic recovery, job growth, public education and the quality of life in California,” Brown said in a statement. “The adoption of this budget will position the state to lead the country as it slowly recovers from the Great Recession.”

Brown’s proposal also assumes the state Legislature would pass a spending plan by March — a date unheard of in recent legislative budget debates that have dragged on into the fall.

Voters last November lowered the threshold for budget passage to a simple majority.

The governor also is seeking an 8 to 10 percent cut in pay for state workers who aren’t covered by union-negotiated contracts, which he said would save the state about $308 million.

That actually could be an improvement for some state employees who currently are furloughed three days a month, said Patrick Whalen, general counsel for California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment, one of six unions operating without a contract.

Brown also wants a $1 billion rainy day fund.

Brown is proposing an $84.6 billion general fund budget, slightly less than the $86.5 billion adopted under former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last budget.

The state’s general fund revenue comes largely from sales, income and corporate taxes.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (25)
  1. rjsmitty says:

    Jerry Brown is the last nail in California’s coffin.

  2. Sheila says:

    Not gonna happen, I’m voting NO on everyone of those taxes…It’s MY money, not the states, Let them cut the same way I’ve had to.

  3. N/A says:

    NO To tax increase and NO to tuition hike for the Cal State System.

  4. DAN says:


  5. JC says:

    No mention of unions or pensions.

  6. 1900innoho says:

    He’s so ‘bought and paid for by the unions’. Why are their wages being addressed and reduced like everyone else’s???? Because they bought him the election. Simple. We are doomed.

  7. d says:

    need tax extensions to maintain cash flow. if you ain’t used to those taxes by now, what cave you’al living in?

  8. Roger Wallace says:

    When’s Brown going to address the extraordinary fraud and waste that takes place in the current state spending programs? He needs to stop blackmailing the public of California with his threats of cuts to education if taxes aren’t increased.

    1. Jason says:

      The Problem is the enormous waste is a big smoke screen sadly, It sounds good but would have helped less than .5% of the budget

  9. Charles Burke says:

    Not a single person in their right mind will vote to pay more taxes, when they don’t have it to give in the first place!! He just doesn’t get it!!!

  10. AW says:

    Being part of the Cal State system, I dislike that the higher education cuts are solely for the CSU and UC system. Where are the cuts in funding to community colleges? Their students can handle increases in fees (I believe the per unit fee is $26) more than our students can, who have been faced with constant tuition increases. Cut the Community Collge budget and let the UCs and CSUs have a break.

    1. enmac says:

      the fact they are going to community college kinda shows they can’t afford much raises to their prices otherwise they’d have the money to go to csu’s.( Not counting those with poor grades)

  11. Be Fair says:

    If the public employee unions don’t have to take a pay cut, forget about the tax extension. Why do we the non union little guys have to sacrifice for the union fat cats?

  12. geeM says:

    Between furloughs or other unpaid days off, and increases in pension contributions from unionized State employees, their wages have been effectively already cut. The state cut back on their pension contributions equal to the emplee’s increased contributions. Extremely few “Union” positions make more than 100K annually. Most are in the 30 to 40 K range. The real fat cats are in the University system @ ~250K.

  13. Me says:

    AW : Do your research before you speak it’s not any easier for us.

  14. mark says:

    Notice the elephant in the room isn’t being addressed
    Government pensions and health care.
    California now controlled by the democrats and unions so tax increases are the natural solution for them

  15. Stick says:

    Finally we have a Governor that has Balls!

  16. Charles Burke says:

    Gov. Jerry says he will ask us permission to raise our own taxes, that is tantamount to asking us to shoot ourselves in the foot financially. If this vote fails among all of us … he will force us to pay it anyways! Case in point …. when I was a child, sales taxes were only 6 cents on the dollar back in the 1960’s. Now it is almost 9 cents on the dollar. Trust me … he will find a way to raise it to 12 cents on the dollar!! Guard your wallet!!

  17. 2958 says:

    Why dont they cut all there saleries in half and cut there health benifets…… No more taxes.

  18. ginny25 says:

    So, based on the minimal information we have atthispoint, can anyone tell me how this differes from the majority of what our previous Gov had been trying to do? Services need to be cut, Govt. needs to shrink, local gov. needs to be responsible for much of their own waste and mis-managment.

    Are things going to change now because it is a Democratic Gov and Legislature and they’ll play nice in the sandbox together? In the end the taxpayers are still taking it in the behind. Sorry, IMO, we just don’t have much more bleeding we can do.
    I’m to the point where I’ll just say the same thing on all of the LA media websites. It’s beyond pitiful.

  19. Moving to Nevada says:

    Jerry has come full circle. He is completing the plan of a socialist California. Cutting back on higher education is what he wants. The less educatied will follow his lead. Look at Oakland.,

    1. enmac says:

      do you even know what socialism is? a big part of socialism is free education from kindergarten to university level.

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