Monday, June 1, 2015

Nielsen lays out GOP budget priorities

From the office of north state Sen. Jim Nielsen:
As legislative budget conference committee members discuss the state budget, Senate Republicans outlined their priorities to create a bi-partisan budget that is sustainable.

While there are many positive elements in the Governor’s budget plan, it proposes a new record high spending level of over $267 billion and is precariously balanced. This is $13 billion more than last year’s budget. This rapid state spending increase will not be manageable in the future.

Senate Republicans support the following budget priorities:

Ø Invest in education – keep faith with voter-approved constitutional spending requirements for schools under Proposition 98.

Ø Continue to build the state’s new rainy day reserve as promised in Proposition 2.

Ø Pay down state debt and address unfunded liabilities like pensions that jeopardize our state’s fiscal future.

o The Department of Finance projects that under the Governor’s current spending policies, California will return to operating deficits in excess of $2.5 billion by 2018-19.

Ø Keep Proposition 30 taxes temporary. The dramatic increase in revenue from Proposition 30 taxes is short-term; and the Governor promised voters that these tax increases would be temporary.

Ø Invest money in infrastructure. Our roads and highways have been neglected for years; we pay a high cost for rough roads, spending more for repairs and maintenance, tire wear and increased fuel consumption. Gov. Brown has stated it will take close to $60 billion over the next 10 years just to get our roads and highways back in shape.

Ø Hold University of California to agreement to not increase tuition and increase state student enrollment.

Ø Heed the independent Legislative Analyst’s warning: “We are clearly on the upward slope of the state’s revenue roller coaster. But just as the state's revenue picture has improved significantly over just a few months, it can just as easily reverse course with a stock market or economic downturn. It is prudent that the Legislature act with fiscal restraint.”

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