Thursday, February 10, 2011
The state’s deficit just got a little bigger. Governor Jerry Brown said he’s dropping a plan to sell and lease back state buildings. He has another idea he said will cost taxpayers far less in the long run.
The sale of 11 state properties was part of last year’s budget deal. It was expected to raise more than $1 billion — but it’s been tied up in court for months. Gov. Brown is calling off the sale. The move brings the deficit to nearly $27 billion. But Brown said he’ll borrow internally to patch up the difference. Brown says that will cost less in the long run.
“If we go and sell these buildings, then we have that billion dollars available to spend now,” Brown said. “But then it will be paid back in enormous cost over time. So that’s why we say this is fiscally prudent, it’s honest.”
Brown’s plan includes borrowing money from Medi-Cal which provides health care to the poor and borrowing from prison construction funds. His plan requires lawmakers’ approval.