LOS ANGELES (CBS) — California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday called for deeper spending cuts for health and welfare spending and a shortened work week for state employees in his revised plan to reduce the state’s $16 billion deficit.
Brown laid out the details of his plan at an afternoon news conference in downtown Los Angeles, where he sought to protect funding for education and public safety while slashing $8.3 billion from government expenditures.
KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports the governor blamed the shortfall on a dramatic plunge in tax revenue, along with other recommendations that were blocked by the courts and the federal government.
He also called on state workers to accept a shortened four-day work week and for voters to approve his temporary tax hikes in November.
“Cutting alone really doesn’t do it, and that’s why I’m linking the serious budget reductions with a plea to the voters, ‘Please increase taxes temporarily’,” said Brown.
Even as Brown detailed a proposed $38 million in cuts to the University of California system, he noted that his budget also calls for an increase in funding for K-12 education.
Protesters outside the at Ronald Reagan State Building told KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta that the governor’s proposal could mean nothing less than a fight for their economic survival.
“I am afraid,” said Cindy, who is disabled and fears cuts to government assistance will ultimately force her into a nursing home. “I am afraid for my life.”
Rabbi Jonathan Klein, the director of Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice LA, said the group’s opposition to the proposed cuts is not just based on economic concerns.
“The budget is a moral issue,” Klein said. “We’re urging for a budget that makes sense.”