Yesterday, the California state legislature passed a 2011-2012 budget reflecting funding cuts and revenue increases that close the state’s remaining $9.6 billion deficit. The legislature had a constitutional deadline of midnight to approve the budget or their salaries would be docked for each day it was late. The budget now moves to Governor Jerry Brown, who had already signed $11.2 billion in cuts to shrink the deficit by more than half.
“We’ve been working with the Governor and the legislature on this budget for over six months and it comes to an end with a rush job to push something through at the final hour. Unfortunately, the legislature appears more concerned about getting their salary than getting their job done. The approved budget is chock full of deferred payments, unrealistic projections and other financial gimmicks that do not address the fundamental structural issues California faces in delivering services to its residents. And who pays in the end? Local communities, which will foot the bill to preserve state-mandated public safety programs, while absorbing the impact of underfunded schools, decimated children’s programs and slashed redevelopment efforts. We implore Governor Brown to find a compromise position that guarantees funding to local governments for the services we will now be asked to provide. They cannot just dump their problems and cross their fingers – it will spell disaster for local governments.”