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Progressive Groups Want $5 Billion More In California Budget

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Photo credit: Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown points to a chart of recent state budget deficits and surpluses as he unveils his 2014-15 budget proposal in January.

Deep discontent with Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal among California progressives is prompting a coordinated campaign for more spending on education and health care programs.

With most Democratic lawmakers unwilling to criticize their own party’s governor in an election year, outside progressive groups are taking up the fight to restore previous budget cuts. They’re planning a rally Tuesday outside the state Capitol.

“In a robust time where we have this type of surplus but nobody is really hurting, then I think it’s prudent to sock more money away for a rainy day fund,” says Paul Song with the Courage Campaign. “But right now, when we have so many people that are suffering, we want to see that money go to help the people that have really sacrificed for the last several years in a down economy.”

The progressive groups want to limit Brown’s proposed rainy day fund and instead spend $5 billion more in the upcoming state budget.

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office says the state’s revenues are exceeding projections — but won’t provide nearly as much money as backers of restoring budget cuts have hoped.

On Tuesday, more than 30 progressive groups will rally at the Capitol.


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