Brown's final California budget stashes billions in reserve

Brown's final California budget stashes billions in reserve

Brown exhibited and communicated the programs for the ultimate budget of his second eight-year period in office apprised that an economic recovery is a result of hitting the high spot is not very likely to last into his inheritor's term.

"The amount and timing of revenues generated from the new taxes are uncertain and will depend on various factors including local regulations, and cannabis price and consumption changes in a legal environment", Brown's budget says.

The governor's January proposal is an opening gambit in the long march toward a budget that is to be adopted in June, before the July 1 beginning of the fiscal year.

This year's version of marginal conflict involves roughly $5 billion in revenue beyond what was earlier forecast.

Brown's budget proposal comes amid federal budget uncertainty.

Working with community colleges, private colleges "are confident we can and will improve the number of transfers into our sector", said Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities in a statement Wednesday expressing thanks for Brown's plan. "So, this is about steady-as-you-go, or exuberance followed by regret - and pain".

Meanwhile, tuition for the first year of traditional community college will be waived for most students if they take 15 credits per semester.

Beyond those and a few other hand-picked spending increases, Brown wants to set aside almost all of his projected $6 billion surplus.

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The first $135 million will pay back the general fund for costs of building the state bureaucracy to regulate marijuana, Brown said. But they'll surely seek to use much of the rest of it. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) put it.

"In a ideal world, the surplus would be returned to taxpayers", added Assemblyman Jay Obernolte of Hesperia, the top Republican on the Assembly budget committee. This year, with only six months of taxing, the budget estimates $175 million in pot taxes. It would allocate more than $100 million to launch the first fully online community college in the state, with the aim of encouraging people who don't have access to campuses to enroll "virtually". He feels the UC and CSU don't do enough to keep their budgets under control. Last year, some members of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and faculty leaders expressed skepticism about online instruction being an effective option for students.

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. Assembly Budget Committee vice-chairman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) calls infrastructure a "fundamental requirement of government that's slipped away over the years".

Additionally, the budget again increases state support for the University of California and the California State University by 3 percent. "This is a golden opportunity to rectify that".

Another $4.6 billion would go toward transportation projects, including $2.8 billion for roads and bridges and $721 million for passenger rail and public transit.

Brown's budget would direct $1.3 billion to natural resources and housing infrastructure spending presuming that state bond measures passed by the Legislature a year ago will be approved by voters in November.

But when Brown was asked if he would tackle changes to Proposition 13 by commenting on a spit roll property tax proposal or other measures that deal with Prop 13, he said, "The fact is there is more property tax collected than ever". "And that big red line, that's what I've had".

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