SACRAMENTO - Today, Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), vice chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, responded to Governor Jerry Brown's 2018-19 budget proposal.
The Governor’s May Revision outlines a record breaking $199.3 billion state budget. While it is good news that a growing economy has increased state revenues, Senate Republicans agree with the Governor that what goes up must come down, and applaud the increased funding proposed for the state’s “Rainy Day” savings.
The Governor rightly acknowledged that the state is over-extended, despite the record revenues. With unfunded liabilities of over $200 billion for pensions and retiree health care, Senate Republicans agree with the call for caution.
Senator Nielsen, Vice Chair, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee:
“With nearly $9 billion in surplus moneys, it is clear that the new taxes recently levied on the people of California were entirely unnecessary.
“The Legislature must refrain from the dangerous temptation to spend on permanent programs that we cannot afford when our state faces another inevitable economic downturn. Now is the time for fiscal discipline. Investing in our rainy day fund savings and our infrastructure, including our water infrastructure, should be the priorities.”
Senate Republican Leader Bates:
“While it is clear that the state cannot afford to go on a spending spree, I do hope that the final budget the Governor signs this year will fund priorities such as expanding efforts on infrastructure and homelessness. There must be a focus on addressing our growing public safety crisis. We should eliminate the rape kit testing backlog and increase efforts by the state Department of Justice to remove guns from dangerous individuals.
“Senate Republicans also believe that the state should release a total of $3 billion in voter-approved K-12 school bonds in the 2018-19 fiscal year, and include budget language to require at least $3 billion in construction and repair projects to be awarded to schools that need these funds in 2018-19. If the Governor is unwilling to release voter-approved bond funding, the state should immediately commit part of the growing budget surplus to school construction and modernization projects.”
Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County, and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Elected to the State Senate in January 2013, Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba. Please follow him on Twitter and Facebook.