Republicans in California have taken to aligning themselves more with the fiscally cautious budget priorities of Gov. Jerry Brown than with their Democratic colleagues in the Legislature, and party leaders had some tentative praise for the governor's revised 2013-2014 budget on Tuesday morning.
Assembly Budget Committee Vice Chair Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, said it was "appropriate for the governor to have conservative revenue projections" given that a surge of surplus revenue is "probably short-lived." But he criticized Brown for moving to scale back enterprise zones, saying the proposal would undercut businesses who had "relied on this program in good faith," and called on the governor to dedicate more reserves as a cushion against a future downturn.
"To truly preserve the legacy for any sort of austerity for the governor, he needs to identify a very hard and fast, solid rainy day fund into which revenues are placed when they come in over projections so we can use those to buffer the peaks and troughs or the fits and starts of California financing and budgeting we've had over the last twenty years," Gorell said.
Also offering some support was Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, who reiterated that Brown was "the adult in the room" and predicted the most meaningful fault line in the coming budget debate would run through the Democratic caucus.
Education funding occupies a central place in the proposal, but Senate Republican leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said the governor needs to do more to ensure the revenue from Proposition 30 goes to schools.
PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblyman Jeff Gorell speaks to members of the media in the Capitol.Jeremy B. White/The Sacramento Bee.