Governor Brown Details New Budget Plan

Gov. Jerry Brown unveils his 2018-19 budget on Wednesday Jan. 10

As Brown's time as governor winds down, his last budget includes $3 billion for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) program, which sets aside a chunk of state tax money for school districts with high numbers of three types of students: foster youth, children from low-income families and English language learners.

Gov. Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra have fought almost every single major Trump administration policy, and have held out California's liberal policies as an alternative model for America to follow.

As for state deficits, they generally arise when states project high future spending growth even when revenues are stagnating.

Brown also expressed concerns that the new federal tax bill would hit high-end taxpayers in California and tempt them to leave the state. The sole way of preparing is to observing your spending amount each year and accumulates the emergency fund.

"The key to this budget is that California has a very volatile tax system", Brown said.

Proposition 2, approved by California voters in 2014, established a constitutional goal of reserving 10 percent of tax revenues in a Rainy Day Fund. But many Republicans hope voters will overturn the tax and fee hikes, part of last year's transportation funding law, in this November's election - the same election in which voters will pick Brown's successor.

Mr. Brown's two most immediate predecessors were consumed by state budget woes at the end of their tenures.

Brown said he wants Cal State to keep improving its graduation rates, which most recently were 22.6 percent within four years and 59.2 percent in six years.

"We have to be on our guard", he said.

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The governor's spending plan would allocate $4.6 billion in new transportation funding in fiscal 2018-19 including $2.8 billion to fix neighborhood roads, state highways and bridges, $556 million for trade and commute corridors, $200 million for high-priority transportation projects and $721 million for passenger rail and public transit modernization.

"The whole point is to think ahead and minimize the pain that is coming, because of the way our business cycle works", Brown said during his budget press conference Wednesday. A finalized version of the budget must be approved by June 15.

Still, both pension funds are considered seriously underfunded because they owe tens of billions of dollars more in benefits than they have on hand.

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

One of these critical services, Dodd said, was education.

The proposed budget for K-14 education will grow to $78.3 billion, its highest level ever, and up $31 billion over the past seven years.

Such a change would likely need to be reflected in the state budget, even though it's meant to be revenue neutral. The plan had its first hearing Wednesday and would allow taxpayers to give a charitable contribution to the state's coffers in lieu of paying taxes.

The state's fiscal health is especially crucial as it faces myriad challenges: record natural disasters, housing shortages and changes to federal tax regulation - all while it ramps up opposition to the Trump administration on several major policy fronts. Sales tax receipts came in $272.4 million lower than expected.

Noting that a modest recession could cost the state as much as $20 billion yearly, Brown proposes building up the state's rainy day fund from $8.4 billion to $13.5 billion in order to at least limit some of the harms drastic cuts in spending prompted by a recession could cause.