The budget Gov. Jerry Brown received this week was “sober” but not “good,” according to Edward Dolejesi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference.
“It pays the bills, it provides money for more effective public safety and human service programs at the local level, and there’s some money left over for a rainy day,” Dolejsi noted. “But for a small, incremental investment, it could have been so much more.”
He criticized the budget for not including “money to help naturalize thousands of legal immigrants eligible for U.S. citizenship,” adding that the budget “provides nothing new” to help children receive a better education.
“It still forces new teachers to dig deep into their pockets for classroom supplies with no hope of reimbursement,” Dolejsi said, while criticizing the budget for providing “open ended public funding for abortions, without giving taxpayers any ‘choice’ regarding using their tax money to directly end the life of unborn children.”
“We can do better,” he said. “Hopefully, after the election is over and lawmakers have a chance to craft a budget based on need, not politics, we’ll have a budget that better responds to the needs of all Californians.”
The governor’s budget forecasts an increase of $2.4 billion in state revenues, reflecting “a modest surplus” as a result of a temporary windfall in capital gains tax revenues. It points out that the costs of health care, drought and other programs have increased by essentially the same amount.
The multiyear plan is designed to be balanced, pay down budgetary debt from past years, save for a rainy day, and increase spending for education, the environment, public safety, public works, affordable health care and CalWORKs. “There remain a number of major risks that threaten the state’s fiscal stability,” the budget summary stated, “including the overhang of fiscal debts, growing long-term liabilities, and lingering uncertainties regarding the costs of the federal Affordable Care Act.”
To view Gov. Brown’s revised budget, visit http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2014-15/Revised/BudgetSummary/BSS/BSS.html.