California is facing a budget shortfall of $15.7 billion. Today, Gov. Jerry Brown released a budget that closes that budget with a combination of tax hikes and deep cuts to health and welfare spending.
The AP reports:
“The Democratic governor said the size of the deficit makes it virtually impossible to balance the budget with spending cuts alone, so his budget balances the cuts with the revenue he anticipates if voters approve his proposal to increase the statewide sales tax by a quarter cent and boost income taxes on those who make more than $250,000 a year. Both tax increases would be temporary.
“Brown’s budget proposes $8.3 billion in cuts, $5.9 billion from the tax increases and $2.5 billion in a variety of other solutions.”
The Los Angeles Times gives a little more detail into the cuts:
“Brown has heightened the cuts he wants to make to Medi-Cal, to $1.2 billion, and maintained another $1.2 billion in welfare and child-care savings he proposed in January.
“He also wants to slash payments to people who care for the disabled by 7% and reduce the state payroll through a shorter workweek or wage concessions. He proposed $500 million in cuts to the state’s struggling court system, including a one-year freeze on all new construction projects.”
The Times adds that the taxe hikes will come to a vote in November and if voters reject the increases, the cuts will be deeper, including a $5.5 billion cut to public schools and the removal of lifeguards from state beaches.