Brown Vetoed Best Budget Option

By Susan Bonilla
Assemblywoman, 11th District

Wednesday, the Democratic members of the Legislature passed the State’s budget. This budget was on-time, it was balanced, and we were able to exercise a majority vote to pass the budget for the first time since the 1930s. The voters of California made this possible by removing the 2/3 budget vote requirements when they passed proposition 25 last November.

Governor Brown vetoed the budget plan, saying that without additional revenue, he would pursue more cuts to education and public safety, putting us on the road to a dangerously uncertain future. Our educators and teachers cannot adequately plan for the coming school year without a stable budget plan put in place immediately. After multiple years of severe budget cuts we cannot expect our schools to absorb billions more in reductions without unacceptable impacts upon the children and young people of California.

We can’t fix a $25 billion deficit in one year without doing irreparable harm to our children in California. To solve all the structural issues, we need a multi-year plan that does not continue to catch education in the middle. The budget the Democrats submitted may not contain all the elements the Governor seeks, but it is the best solution to protect our children and public safety.

The on-time budget, while not the path we preferred, solves the remaining deficit for this budget year. It includes a $600 million reserve, and puts California on a path toward eliminating the structural deficit with continued commitment to corrective budget actions in the next few years. The on-time budget is balanced through the use of one-time solutions, including deferrals and realistic assumptions regarding already higher revenues.

It completes the work we began in March when the Democratic legislature voted to enact 9 billion dollars of very difficult cuts primarily to Health and Human Services and Higher Education, disproportionally impacting California’s children.

Assembly Democrats have agreed all along with the Governor that a balanced approach of cuts and voter-approved tax extensions was the best way to address this year’s and the state’s long-term budget deficit. California voters should be allowed to extend existing revenues. The repeated refusal of Legislative Republicans to support the Governor’s original budget plan has left Democrats with few options.

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