Monday, May 16, 2011
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown is betting that
California continues its gradual climb from the depths of the
recession but said Monday that even a multibillion dollar bounce in
tax revenue will not close the state's budget deficit and he wants
to keep pushing a series of tax increases.
The Democratic governor released his revised budget proposal for
the fiscal year that starts July 1, a spending plan that mixes hope
for better days ahead with a warning about the future if the
Legislature fails to enact his plan for higher taxes.
Public schools in particular could face billions in cuts unless
the state brings in more money, he said.
The governor proposed spending of $88.8 billion, a nearly 5
percent increase over the budget he introduced in January. The
boost was fueled by rising sales, personal income and corporate tax
receipts - the three main sources of the state's general fund.
The governor expects an overall increase of $6.6 billion in tax
receipts for the coming year.
The rising revenue and spending cuts already enacted by
Democratic lawmakers and Brown have reduced the projected deficit
to $9.6 billion. It had been estimated as high as $26.6 billion at
the start of the year.
Noting the increased tax revenue, Brown is proposing to slightly
modify his call for a renewal of expiring tax increases. But he
defended his decision to push ahead with the tax plan, saying the
state faces deficits into the future.
"California's finances were plunged into turmoil by the Great
Recession and a decade of short-term fixes and fiscal gimmicks,"
he said during a Capitol news conference. "This is not the time to
delay or evade. This is the time to put our finances in order."