Jerry Brown unveils $132 billion California budget for 2018-19

Gov. Brown's $190 Billion State Budget

Jerry Brown released the final budget proposal of his tenure as California Governor and it followed a similar script to years past.

Brown's statement added that "while the new online college will focus on working adults between ages 25 and 34, an additional 6.2 million adults with the same level of educational attainment between the ages of 35 to 65 could also benefit from this college".

Brown has been working to strike out the California rule, a precedent dating back to the 1950s that holds public agencies can not reduce pension promises without offering workers new incentives to offset the loss of retirement income. Saving money now will protect teachers' jobs and tamp down on college tuition hikes down the road, he said.

"There is a lot more flexibility than is now assumed by those who discuss the California rule", Brown said.

He predicted that his successor in the governor's office would face rockier economic times after the eight-year economic recovery winds down. He's termed out after serving four terms, first in the 1970s and 1980s and again since 2011.

Jerry Brown appears poised to exit office next year with a top political priority in hand: free from the massive budget deficits that had weighed on his predecessors.

Furthermore, as Brown was reminded by one of Wednesday's reportorial questioners, the Democrats vying to succeed him this year have been courting liberal voters by promising all sorts of new and expensive programs if elected, largely mirroring what Democratic legislators want.

The proposed total state budget, which includes income generated from bonds and other special funds as well as tax revenues, would be $190.3 billion, up 4 percent from the current fiscal year.

Overall, his plan largely avoids new spending, instead putting $5 billion in surplus money into the state's rainy day fund.

Gov. Brown's $190 Billion State Budget
Brown capers defense with California's allocation surfeit

That intent runs counter to hopes of his fellow Democrats in the Legislature to spend more, particularly on health care, early childhood education and other entitlements that would be hard, if not impossible, to cut if revenues fall.

"Just like our blueprint is the beginning of a discussion, his is as well", Ting told reporters.

"The key to this budget is to fill up the rainy day fund", he said. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) put it.

"In a flawless world, the surplus would be returned to taxpayers", added Assemblyman Jay Obernolte of Hesperia, the top Republican on the Assembly budget committee. And his $12 billion spending plan for the state's prison and parole system includes new money to train ex-felons to become firefighters. He said the Legislature should determine whether the Internal Revenue Service could issue a regulation to completely subvert the fund.

The proposed budget marks the first time the state's coffers will be bolstered from sales taxes on marijuana, which became legal for recreational use on January 1. That's less than the $1 billion from earlier estimates.

"In the 1960s, we spent over 20 percent of state revenue on infrastructure", Obernolte said.

The proposed budget for K-14 education will grow to $78.3 billion, its highest level ever, and up $31 billion over the past seven years. Brown said he's open to that idea but still has questions.

However, since members of his own party are suddenly and surprisingly concerned about taxpayers, it would be great if the governor would use the budget process to work with Republicans to come up with ways to reduce the overall tax burden of California residents, which is very high. It boosted payments for Medi-Cal doctors and dentists who provide care for the poor and increased funding for education and social services. According to the new budget plan, a lack of action to fund the health plan would have stiff consequences for the state: "failure by Congress to extend funding beyond March 2018 would increase state costs by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2018-19".

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