Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement in response to today’s vote on the final budget plan crafted by legislative Democrats and Governor Jerry Brown:
“The final budget is marginally better, but still gives a false sense of security to Californians that our state is back on track. This budget will spend a record $267 billion, which is $13 billion more than last year’s budget. While I’m glad that it protects some priorities such as K-12 and higher education, it unwisely plants the seeds for a future budget disaster by creating new spending obligations that will surely balloon in future years.
“Furthermore, the budget needlessly expands government, such as creating new ‘water sheriffs’ that will do little to address California’s drought, while failing to remove the school reserve cap that hinders the ability of local districts to best help their students.”
Earlier this week, Bates joined her Republican colleagues to urge Governor Brown to not repeat the fiscal mistakes of the past by gambling on overly-optimistic economic projections. She said that while the final budget deal is roughly $2.1 billion less than what legislative Democrats wanted to spend in the budget plan they passed on Monday, it still increases overall spending.
To highlight the budget’s major shortcomings, Governor Brown has announced that he will call two special legislative sessions to address two issues left unaddressed in the budget – funding for transportation infrastructure and health care. Bates said that funding for California’s crumbling roads and highways should be a priority, not High-Speed Rail.