FROM H.D. Palmer
California's Gone from Bad Times to Good Times… or Has It? State Senators and Assembly members are prepared to pass a budget by midnight tonight. If it gets any later, they won't get paid . But that won't mean the process is over. What's in store for disabled people, the poor and others who suffered from program cuts during the Great Recession?
UC Committee Moves Forward with Tuition Hike The new President of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, has said she doesn’t want a “shoot out” with Governor Brown, but they do have “different visions.” Today, those visions were in stark conflict as a committee of UC regents voted to increase tuition over the next five years despite Brown’s opposition.
It's Jerry Brown versus… the Democrats? Governor Brown says , "This is not an ordinary legislative measure. This is a cause." He wants to direct more state money to districts with large numbers of low-income students and those who have trouble with English. If fellow Democrats who represent wealthier districts have a problem with that, the Governor has promised them "the battle of their lives." He's vowed to fight it with everything he has, "and whatever we have to bring to bear on this battle, we're bringing it."
The Governor Proposes His State Budget for 2013 Governor Brown today predicted that his latest budget will lead to a surplus at the end of the next fiscal year… Even some Republicans are calling it good news. We’ll hear what it would mean for schools and social programs cut to the bone during the era of deficits. Will there be calls for more spending?
State Parks, 'Hidden Assets' and Public Trust in Government The State Attorney General and the Department of Finance are investigating the discovery of $54 million in so-called "hidden assets" in the State Parks Department. That's more than twice the deficit that led Governor Brown to announce the closing of 70 parks, parks then saved by non-profits and community groups, which raised their own money. A Public Records Act request by the Sacramento Bee turned up unreported funds collected by two of the Parks Department's special funds. Matt Weiser is one of those reporting the story.
Severe Cuts in College Summer School Programs Summer school is virtually a thing of the past at Los Angeles Valley College. That means that thousands of students will have to go back to that two-year school in September, rather than moving on to a four-year institution as they have planned. Governor Brown planned to raise money for education by shutting down redevelopment agencies, but now that's being challenged in court, with a hearing scheduled for tomorrow in Sacramento.
How Much Will Facebook's IPO Help California's Ailing Budget? Tomorrow's the day that shares in Facebook will start publicly trading, and the share price has been set at $38. The State of California is hoping that the IPO will create enough new money to increase state revenues. H.D. Palmer is Deputy Director of Governor Brown's Department of Finance.
Governor Brown and the Accidental Budget Governor Brown stunned the legislature and the rest of Sacramento today by releasing next year's proposed budget almost a week early. He called a hasty news conference after his Department of Finance accidentally put in on line. The proposed plan will mean hard times for many Californians. They'll be even harder if voters don't pass increases in sales and income taxes in the November election.
State Budget Trigger Cuts to Take Effect Governor Brown announced today that triggers in state spending will be needed. Tax revenues have not met the projections assumed by this year's budget, passed by the legislature and signed by Brown. But it's not as bad as last month's prediction by the Legislative Analyst. The deficit is now $13 billion. Instead of adding $2 billion in red ink, Governor Brown's Finance Department says the current shortfall will add about half that much. The Governor has proposed that voters approve tax increased in next November's elections. He says if they don't, cuts will be harsher than ever.
Yet Another School System in Big Trouble Education in California is likely to be hit hard if revenues don't measure up to the optimistic projections made in Sacramento when this year's budget was passed. In the meantime, Orange County Supervisors plan to use school money for purposes of their own. To balance the County budget and pay their bills, they plan to divert $73.5 million in property taxes earmarked for K-12 education. School Superintendent William Habermehl says he won't allow that to happen "on the backs of the children."
Where Is $9 Billion in Unused Bonds? Governor Brown says, "Caution is not really the right path" when it comes to creating jobs and stimulating the economy. He wants President Obama to invest in sewers, schools and roads, just as Franklin Roosevelt did during the Great Depression. LA Times columnist George Skelton says , "Brown can look right under his nose and find $9 billion for thousands of paychecks."
CA's Troubling Budget, LACCD's 'Shoddy Fiscal Mismanagement' Governor Brown and the legislature balanced next year's budget based on projections of how much revenue will be coming in. If those projections are off by a billion dollars, massive cuts will be automatically triggered in higher education, healthcare and other services. State Controller John Chiang says revenues for July were off by $539 million , more than half way to trigger point. Chiang has also issued a blistering critique of the Los Angeles Community College District, which he points out is the biggest thing of its kind in the nation with 250,000 students on campuses in 36 cities. He accuses the district of "shoddy fiscal management" of such magnitude it "will undermine the public's trust and threaten billions of public dollars." What's the worst of it?
Jerry Brown and the Incredible Shrinking State Deficit Governor Brown inherited a $25 billion deficit, which he and the legislature cut in half with spending cuts. Then revenues turned out to be $2.5 billion more than expected. Today, when Brown unveiled his revised budget proposal , anticipated revenues were up by $6.6 billion. Because of the state's two-thirds voting requirement, Brown's proposal still needs two Republican votes in both the Assembly and Senate.
City of Los Angeles Squares Off against Governor Brown Last Friday, with just 24 hours public notice, the LA Community Redevelopment Agency met to approve a plan negotiated with the City Council. Some $930 million in CRA money will be transferred to the City to protect it from Governor Brown. In Sacramento this afternoon, Governor Brown met with Antonio Villaraigosa and eight other mayors to discuss the issue. Governor Brown addresses League of California Cities on redevelopment funds
Governor Tries to Impose Minimum Wage on State Workers For the past 20 years, the state legislature has met the June 15 constitutional deadline for passing a budget just once. But this time, Governor Schwarzenegger says 200,000 state workers will have to pay a high price. He insists that, starting on August 1, they'll all be paid the federal minimum wage, $7.25. We hear from a reporter following the budget, the Governor's Deputy Finance Director and the State Controller.
Trying to Fill Another Huge State Budget gap It’s budget season again in Sacramento, with a June 30th deadline that hasn’t been met for the past 20 years. Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed spending plan calls for massive program cuts and no new taxes—a formula for another extended standoff.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.