LOS ANGELES (AP/CBSLA.com) — California Gov. Jerry Brown released a record-high level of spending Tuesday in his latest revision to the state budget.
Brown made an appearance at the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles to unveil his revised 2014-2015 budget proposal, which shows California state government awash in tax revenue.
The revised budget projects $107.7 billion in spending — nearly $1 billion more than the budget Brown proposed in January — from the general fund, the state’s main checkbook for paying day-to-day operations.
In addition to paying down $11 billion in debts and liabilities, the proposed budget includes an additional $142 million in drought-related spending on firefighting, emergency response, water management, wildlife preservation and food assistance. It also outlines a plan to shore up teacher pensions with increased contributions that would initially total about $450 million.
The Democratic governor called the spending plan “good news for California.”
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports not everyone was happy about the numbers, however.
Marilyn Moreno was among a group of protestors criticizing the revised budget plan in downtown L.A. Tuesday.
Her full time job is caring for her disabled daughter, but the governor’s new plan would put a 40 hour a week cap on her paid care – causing her to lose more than $400 dollars a month.
“Without this program I wouldn’t be able to live,” Moreno said.
Brown addressed more controversial aspects of his proposal during his announcement Tuesday.
“I’m very sympathetic. But I want to be responsible,” he said.
California’s general fund is meanwhile expected to reach a record high with help from a soaring stock market and the sales and income tax increase approved by voters in 2012. The expected surplus is a stark turnaround from the not-too-distant past, which was marked by multibillion-dollar shortfalls, state worker furloughs and state-issued IOUs.
His plan now goes to the state Legislature, where many Democrats have expressed an interest in spending much of the surplus revenue. Brown favors an approach that prioritizes savings and paying down the state’s debts and unfunded liabilities.
Lawmakers have until June 15 to make changes and return a balanced budget to the governor.
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