Share

Highlights of governor's budget proposal

|
News,Business

THE TOP NUMBERS:

— $97.6 billion general fund, a 5 percent increase over the current fiscal year.

— $145 billion total budget, which includes $40.9 billion in special funds dedicated to a particular purpose and $7.2 billion in bond funding.

HOW THE MONEY IS SPENT:

— $56.2 billion for K-12 schools and community colleges, $2.7 billion more than in the current fiscal year.

— $11.1 billion for higher education, a 13.6 percent increase. It includes $250 million more for each the UC and CSU systems.

— $28.3 billion for Health and Human Services.

— $8.8 billion for state prisons, a slight increase.

— $2.5 billion for natural resources and environmental protection, about the same as the current year.

— $645 million for housing, and business and consumer services, a nearly 200 percent increase.

— $207 million for transportation, a 13 percent increase.

— $1 billion rainy day fund.

WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM:

— $61.7 billion from personal income taxes, a 1.8 percent increase.

— $23.2 billion from sales and use taxes, a 12.3 percent increase.

— $9.1 billion from corporation taxes, 20.4 percent increase.

— $2.2 billion from insurance taxes, an 8.7 percent increase.

— $326 million from liquor taxes, a 1.9 percent increase.

— $89 million from tobacco taxes, 2.2 percent decrease.

— $23 million from vehicle fees, a 3 percent decrease.

___

K-12 and COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Brown is proposing a sweeping overhaul to the way K-12 money is distributed. His plan would establish a base funding grant for every student that would be supplemented with additional money for students whose first language is not English or those from low-income homes.

Schools in which more than half the students are low-income or English-learners would receive even more money. His overhaul is intended to boost achievement at the most impoverished schools, but it is likely to draw criticism from districts with more affluent parents.

The governor's proposal would eliminate dozens of so-called "categorical" funding streams, which provide additional money for everything from physical education programs to school safety. That would free local school districts to decide how best to spend the money and presumably cut the bureaucracy associated with them.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers gave tepid support for the concept, but said the formula was too complicated to quickly evaluate.

Brown also would shift about $300 million for adult education programs from K-12 districts to community colleges, which Brown says are better suited to meet the needs of adults.

Community colleges will receive an additional $197 million (a 3.6 percent increase), as well as $179 million owed by the state. They also would receive $17 million to create a "virtual campus" of 250 new online courses.

___

HIGHER EDUCATION

The University of California and California State University will receive an additional $250 million each. They would receive steady funding increases over the next four years in exchange for keeping tuition at current levels.

Brown wants colleges and universities to offer more online courses to help expand access and reduce costs. The UC and CSU systems would receive $10 million each to develop online versions of high-demand courses.

He also wants to cap the number of units undergraduates can take at in-state tuition levels to encourage students to complete their degrees more quickly.

___

PRISONS

The budget for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation rises slightly, to nearly $9 billion, despite Brown's attempts to control spending.

The governor filed court documents earlier this week seeking to regain state control of inmate health care, which has been operating under federal oversight because of unconstitutionally poor conditions. If federal judges agree, Brown said the state could reduce spending on what he called a "gold-plated" medical system that has undergone billions of dollars' worth of improvements.

He also wants to return thousands of inmates to California from private prisons in other states as a cost-saving move.

Reimbursements from the state to local governments for handling lower-level criminals will climb to nearly $6.4 billion, up $430 million from last year. The money from sales and motor vehicle license fees was guaranteed to counties as part of Brown's 14-month-old inmate realignment law, which is shifting thousands of criminals from state prisons to county jails to ease prison crowding and save money.

___

HEALTH CARE

The Brown administration committed to expanding Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low-income people, to meet President Barack Obama's health care reform law, with $350 million in state funds to begin paying for it.

That will allow California to take advantage of generous federal funding, but Brown said he is concerned about adding to the state's financial liability.

Under the expansion that begins in 2014, the state would cover about 1 million more Californians who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $15,400 for an individual per year. Medicaid, known as Medi-Cal in the state, already serves about 8 million people, roughly one out of every five Californians.

Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley said the newly eligible people would have access to the same benefits as current recipients except for long-term care.

Brown proposed two approaches to implementing the expansion: through a state-run program or through expanding county-run programs.

___

HIGH-SPEED RAIL/GREENHOUSE GASES

The budget estimates that California will take in $200 million this year from the sale of greenhouse gas permits sold in the state's cap-and-trade program, which puts a price on carbon emitted from power plants, cement factories and other industries. That number will grow to $400 million in 2013-14.

The cap-and-trade money can be spent only on programs that further the goals of California's global warming law, AB 32, in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Some of it is also being returned to utility ratepayers in the form of a dividend meant to offset rate increases due to cap-and-trade and to help with air quality programs in poor areas.

While there are few details about exactly how this windfall will be spent, the budget gives some hints.

High-speed rail is at the top of the list, in part because vehicles are the top source of greenhouse gas emissions. Not only would high-speed rail infrastructure be funded, but the budget says "electrification and energy projects that complement high speed rail" will also benefit.

Other areas that might receive cap-and-trade money include urban forestry projects and sustainable agriculture, because farms are responsible for a share of the state's diesel emissions.

___

COURTS

The proposed budget uses $200 million from the Judicial Branch's reserves to postpone some of the proposed deep cuts in state spending on courts. That means the court system would receive no additional general fund reductions, but would delay additional courthouse construction while allowing some project to continue.

___

Source: California Department of Finance.

View article comments Leave a comment