Gov. Jerry Brown envisions budget without more steep cuts
Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget proposal includes little of the spending cuts that have characterized California state government in recent years.
Some cuts, in fact, are allowed to expire amid the state's improving financial situation.
For example, the governor does not plan on continuing furloughs for state workers, which is saving an estimated $372.9 million in general fund spending in the current fiscal year. On top of that, state workers are going to cost the state's general fund $247 million more in the next fiscal year, administration officials projected.
The state is expected to enter contract negotiations with most state worker unions this year, which could alter costs further.
Brown's budget proposal would end a 3.6% reduction in hours of in-home care for the elderly and disabled at a cost of $59.1 million.
Some activists were disappointed that more cuts weren't restored.
“Without a restored social safety net in California, our working families cannot fully participate in our economic recovery," said a statement from Vanessa Aramayo, director of California Partnership, a coalition of anti-poverty groups.
Brown defended his decisions at a Capitol news conference on Thursday morning.
“I want to advance the progressive agenda but consistent with the amount of money people made available,” he said.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a chart on Thursday showing budget surpluses. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press