The reaction to Gov. Jerry brown's budget plan is rolling in. Here's a sampling from prepared releases:
Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco and chair of the Senate Budget Committee:
"We've made significant progress in reducing the state's structural budget deficit in the past year, shrinking it from $20 billion to $8 billion through austerity measures alone. Unfortunately, our fiscal crisis in California is far from over, largely due to the $20 billion structural deficit left by the Schwarzenegger Administration, and we continue to face a significant budget gap. We have just two ways to fill that hole, cuts and new revenue. While budget cuts are unavoidable at this juncture, they must be done in the most sensitive way to prevent further harm to our economy and essential infrastructures. We cannot continue to expect our state to thrive while we simultaneously give away tax breaks to large corporations and scale back funding for our schools, universities, social programs and health care services that are important to children, lower and middle class families and elderly and disabled Californians. We will not have the resources we need to put California back on its feet without the revenues that the Governor is proposing in his November ballot initiative. I look forward to working together with my colleagues in the Legislature and the people of California to fully analyze this latest budget proposal and present a transparent and balanced plan to the Governor by June 15."
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar:
"Unfortunately, the Governor's increased budget deficit was predictable. Senate Republicans have consistently raised concerns that last year's majority vote budget relied on too many phony spending reductions, other irresponsible revenue assumptions, and gimmicks. As state revenues have been increasing, total spending has also increased by $20 billion since the 2007-08 state budget. Despite an 11% unemployment rate, two million Californians out of work, and California being ranked the worse state in the nation to do business 8-years in a row, the Governor and Democrats have no proposals to help grow the economy or to help our small business community. Republicans believe we must get people back to work, which in turn will responsibly increase our state tax revenues."
Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen, R-Modesto:
"It's past time to implement a real economic plan that will raise revenue through job creation. Unfortunately, the Governor has failed to propose any action to create jobs as part of his budget plan. "Even if the Governor's tax initiative passes, the now $16 billion deficit shows we must make significant reductions to spending, reform government, and work to eliminate inefficient and unnecessary government bureaucracy. The Legislature has one job right now - to stop ignoring the problem and to get our state's fiscal house back in order. "The Governor claims he is prioritizing education and public safety in his budget, yet he continues to propose that K-12 schools and higher education take the biggest hit if voters reject his tax increases on the ballot. There are other areas of the budget we can cut. Republicans have put forward alternatives and want to work with Governor Brown to solve our deficit without any further cuts to education and public safety." For more details on Governor Brown's budget proposal visit:
Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Berach:
"Within 60 seconds of starting his presentation, the Governor was pushing his proposed tax increase as the Holy Grail of pulling California out of the red. Using history as prologue to the future, the Governor is wrong. Putting people back to work, rejecting expensive "pie in the sky" projects like High Speed Rail and pushing forward with responsible changes to public employee pensions are far more responsible solutions than banking on voters approving a tax increase - a tax increase they can't afford. "The worsening budget numbers, devastating to schools, public safety and a host of other programs were completely avoidable. Republicans have suggested more than $4 billion in budget solutions to avoid the trigger cuts to education to protect schools, but the Legislative leadership and the Governor seem fixated on raising taxes rather than making reforms. I have been in Sacramento twelve years and believe me, Jerry Brown is not the first Governor or elected official to promise us that paying more taxes is the solution. Frankly, that just isn't true."
Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres:
"I am pleased to see Governor Brown has focused on permanently eliminating our state's structural debt, but am concerned about a plan that relies on the passage of new taxes before voters have made their decision. It is unfortunate we continue to face multibillion dollar shortfalls. Hopefully my colleagues in the Legislature have the political will to make the structural reforms necessary to end the cycle. "We have to keep a focus on creating jobs for unemployed Californians, which I believe is the best way to get our budget back on track. I look forward to continuing my efforts to eliminate regulations that are stifling businesses and create a less hostile business environment."
Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Los Angeles and chair of the Assembly Budget Committee
"The Governor has proposed some stark options for the greater good and it's up to the Legislature to vet them publicly and to deliver a responsible, on time budget. But this is a year unlike any other because the voters will ultimately choose whether the budget is balanced with temporary revenues or with devastating cuts to our schools, health care, and public safety programs. The lead up to November's unprecedented vote means that a budget agreement requires more than the Legislature and the Governor coming together. The public should shape the budget choices the Governor insists the voters make on the ballot. That way, the voters can make a clear choice about the future of their state."
Robert Martin, Chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians:
"While online poker is not a silver bullet for the state's financial problems, it can be part of a larger solution. At a time when state services are being dramatically cut, the time has come to pass online poker, it's a revenue generator that has been debated for far too long."
Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, D-Los Angeles:
"Today's May Revision to the budget makes clear that a significant budget problem remains. We will continue to work with the Governor and the Senate to close the remaining budget problem; which will require the Legislature making tough cuts and the voters approving temporary revenues. To date, the Assembly has held over 60 budget hearings, and we will immediately begin hearing the May Revision proposal. Through an open and transparent process, we will craft an on-time, balanced budget by June 15."
Tom Del Beccaro, chairman of the California Republican Party:
"Amazingly, a year and a half into Brown's Governorship and we still hear nothing of the unemployed. California will continue to face chronic budget deficits because so many people remain out of work; the conversation about revenues should always begin with how to restore jobs. So many people are wondering when Brown will offer plans to make California competitive, so that business will return to this state and bring jobs with them."
Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville:
Other states are seeing their tax revenue grow, while California struggles to balance a budget on shrinking tax revenues. The answer is not to increase tax rates, but to grow the economy. Hounding job creators and trying to squeeze them for more money is not helping anyone; it is time for an attitude change in Sacramento." "The latest numbers prove that economic growth is the only thing that will get us out of our budget troubles, Small businesses want to create more jobs and earn more money - and thus create more tax revenue for the state - we just need to get regulatory agencies out of the way and let them."
Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa:
"Another year of austerity measures is not what Californians want. Despite massive cuts across the board-- with cuts continuing to fall disproportionately on children and women--we still have a $16 billion budget shortfall. We can no longer just cut services to dig the state out of deficits because our Republican colleagues won't consider raising revenues. We cannot continue to cut expenditures and lay-off employees year after year and expect our revenues to grow. We all must share the responsibility to look at all budget solutions."
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association:
"There's a fine line between being a 'buoyant optimist' and just plain delusional. Nearly a year and a half into his Governorship, Jerry Brown has yet to deal with the realities of the State budget crisis he claimed he would fix."
Vanessa Aramayo, executive director of California Partnership and a leader of the Health and Human Services Network of California:
"Governor Brown's budget is filled with horrific choices that will gut our social safety net and hurt programs that help Californians get back to work. Slashing billions from health and human services is detrimental and even antithetical to California's recovery. ... The cuts in the revised budget boil down to stark decisions: giving an easy ride to corporations rather than supporting California's families. After three years and $15 billion in cuts to vital social programs, it is unconscionable to allow CA's social safety net to be further dismantled at a time when our families need it most."
Attorney General Kamala Harris:
"The state Department of Justice stood firm for over a year against the nation's largest banks on behalf of California homeowners harmed by the foreclosure crisis. This effort resulted in an agreement that will provide billions in relief to California homeowners who are experiencing hardship. The agreement also required the banks to pay an additional $410 million to get homeowners the expert help they need to keep their homes. The Governor's May Revision, however, proposes to redirect this $410 million from the state's homeowners to other budget purposes. While the state is undeniably facing a difficult budget gap, these funds should be used to help Californians stay in their homes. I plan to work with the Governor and Legislature toward a balanced budget that honors our obligations to California's homeowners."