A closer look the Legislature's spending priorities
Have We Cut State Spending?
The conventional wisdom holds that California has massively reduced government spending since the beginning of the recession in 2007. Unfortunately, the data just does not show that spending in California has declined.
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The good news is that California's economy is growing and tax revenue is on the rise. The Governor projects Big 3 Revenues to grow by $4.5 billion in 2012-13. This means more money in the bank to fund priorities like our public school classrooms and public safety. Unfortunately, the Governor's Budget would increase spending so much next year that it will outpace the state's revenue growth.
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Spending 2011-12: Revenues Are Up, But Spending is Higher
Both the Legislative Analyst's Office and Governor Brown's own budget forecast a significant increase in spending in the 2011-12 budget, and the Governor's newly-proposed 2012-13 budget is expected to grow expenditures by 7 percent. This projected rapid spending growth will exceed the estimated $4.5 billion increase in Big Three revenue and contributes to the Governor's projected $9.2 billion multi-year deficit.
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Is The Fire Tax Unconstitutional?
The newly-enacted $150 fire tax will be imposed on residents living in State Responsibility Areas to fund CalFire. Its adoption has been a controversial move both politically and legally. The outcome of the political debate and expected legal challenges could significantly impact the 2012-13 budget.
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Pension Reform: Unfunded Pension Obligations Threaten Budget Funding for Core Priorities
Independent experts agree that California's unfunded public employee pension obligations are becoming more and more of a budget problem - both for state and local governments.
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CalWORKs: Governor Proposes a "Work First" Approach
The Governor's 2012-13 budget proposes to increase spending by 7%. The Governor's spending level is dependent on the Legislature approving a number of spending reductions. According to the Legislative Analyst, without many of the reductions identified in the Governor's budget proposal, spending in 2012-13 will increase 14%.
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