California state budget: Here's why to hold the applause for Brown

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Brown exhibited and communicated the programs for the ultimate budget of his second eight-year period in office apprised that an economic recovery is a result of hitting the high spot is not very likely to last into his inheritor's term. The proposed total state budget, which includes income generated from bonds and other special funds as well as tax revenues, would be $190.3 billion, up 4 percent from the current fiscal year.

Brown's budget includes $18.7 billion for transportation programs and improvements, up from the $18.1 billion allocated previous year, a modest 3 percent increase. Since the end of the Great Recession, the University of California has received $1.2 billion in new funding and the California State University (CSU) has received $1.6 billion. In a news release, Brown said full implementation of the LCFF, which was enacted in 2013 to increase support for the state's neediest students and allow school districts to have more flexibility over how money is spent in schools, is two years ahead of schedule.

Working with community colleges, private colleges "are confident we can and will improve the number of transfers into our sector", said Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities in a statement Wednesday expressing thanks for Brown's plan.

Democratic Senate Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, comments, "For the last several years, we have been fortunate to invest in California and its citizens, while at the same time building up a strong budget reserve to insulate from future downturns".

Assembly Budget Chairman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) wants to expand the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, among other priorities.

As the state won't know for months the impact of the GOP tax bill, Yee said, "Brown is wise in exercising caution with responsible short-term spending, boosting rainy day fund reserves, and paying down debt". "Here, modesty is not good enough".

Republicans, meanwhile, said the surplus should go back to Californians who are burdened with high taxes, including a new gas tax increase expected to generate $5 billion for road repairs. Brown's Local Control Funding Formula increased funding for districts with disproportionate numbers of English-language learners, foster students and students from impoverished families to help them all have better chances at leading successful lives.

Additionally, the budget again increases state support for the University of California and the California State University by 3 percent.

The proposed budget marks the first time the state's coffers will be bolstered from sales taxes on marijuana, which became legal for recreational use on January 1. That's less than the $1 billion from earlier estimates.

The budget also would include funding to restart the state's court construction program to complete 10 courthouses.

Solano County representatives were generally enthusiastic about Brown's proposal.

Spending: "There's a lot more money circulating", he said, referring to his $11.3 billion budget when he first took office and this year's proposed $132 billion figure. The proposal contains $233 million for larger payments to doctors and dentists who treat Medi-Cal patients.

In addition to transportation, Brown's budget also takes aim at the state's estimated $67 billion in deferred maintenance.

Yet they noted that "the state budget process has just begun and we hope to continue conversations with the governor and the Legislature".

He's presided over a stark turnaround in California's fiscal fortunes.