Californians should be bracing for some growing pains if Governor Jerry Brown has his way. He recently released a plan to try to close the deficit with a number of plans that will hurt the bottom line for many. With an almost $16 billion budget gap, the Governor has warned voters that they’ll see the deficit grow even higher if they reject his proposed ballot measure to raise certain taxes.
As Governor Brown said at a news conference on Monday, "I'm linking these serious budget reductions … with a plea to the voters: Please increase taxes temporarily.”
Here are a few of his upcoming plans:
Governor Brown is negotiating with public labor unions to save 5% in payroll costs by reducing the state workweek to 38 hours, worked only over four days. He plans to cut Medi-Cal, California’s healthcare program for the poor, by $1.2 billion, which will include cutting funding for hospitals and nursing homes. He also plans to reduce welfare and child care by $1.3 billion. As he told reporters on Monday,
"You name it, and we've got to cut it."
Brown also called for temporary reductions in court funding, which includes the delay of 38 construction projects. This proposal would force trail courts to use their own reserved funds to pay their bills. California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye retorted that with these plans,
"They will seriously compromise the public's access to their courts and our ability to provide equal access to justice throughout the state.”
Without these taxes, Brown has warned of another $6.1 billion in cuts that would occur. These cuts would include reductions in K-12 schools and community colleges and cuts by $250 million each to the University of California and California State University systems.
Brown has acknowledged the painful difficulties in his plan and has said that he is open to suggestions about better ways to close the gap in the budget. For now, he’s asked people to have “a modicum of stoicism” in their reactions to the plans.