Analyst will vet Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal
Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, which was released earlier this week to a cacophony of commentary and criticism, will receive its first, top-to-bottom nonpartisan vetting on Friday.
The Legislative Analyst's Office, which provides budget advice to lawmakers, is expected to release a report in the morning and then hold a news conference to discuss Brown's spending plan.
California is facing a nearly $16-billion deficit, much worse than the $9.2-billion estimate from January. To close the gap, Brown wants cuts in social service spending, a four-day workweek for state employees, and higher taxes, which he hopes voters approve at the ballot box in November.
The deficit grew because tax revenue was lower than expected and budget cuts were blocked by the federal government, courts and Democrats in the Legislature. A voter-mandated funding formula is also requiring the state to spend more on public education, further straining California's finances.
Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor has occasionally clashed with Brown this year, saying that the governor's tax estimates are too high.
His reports have also undercut Brown's case for tax hikes, which the governor says are necessary to prevent steep cuts to public education. Taylor said school officials will likely slash spending as a precaution and a survey said most districts weren't banking on the taxes being approved.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor speaking with reporters at a press conference in January. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press