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Overview of the Governor's Budget Clear Filters
January 14, 2008 - The Governor has put forward an aggressive agenda for the special session and the 2008–09 budget. The Legislature should focus first on those areas where time is of the essence—where early decisions will allow state programs to achieve desired savings in the current year. The special session should also be used to lay the groundwork for achieving budget–year savings—for instance, by developing any program restructurings and taking any necessary actions on the current–year Proposition 98 minimum guarantee. In contrast to the Governor’s approach of across–the–board reductions, in our view the Legislature should (1) eliminate or further reduce low–priority programs in order to minimize the impact on higher priority programs and (2) examine additional revenue options as part of a more balanced approach. Making tough choices now will allow the state to move closer to bringing its long–term spending and revenues into alignment.
January 12, 2007 - The 2007-08 Governor’s Budget proposes a major redirection of transportation funds, reductions in social services, and a variety of other actions to eliminate a significant shortfall in 2007-08. The plan assumes that adoption of its proposals will result in a balanced budget with an over-$2 billion reserve. However, the budget contains a significant number of downside risks and is based on a number of optimistic assumptions. Its key proposals also raise serious policy and legal issues. Adverse outcomes in just a few of these areas could easily eliminate most or all of the proposed reserve.
January 12, 2006 - The 2006-07 Governor’s Budget now projects that the state will be able to fund much more than a current-law budget and still maintain fiscal balance in 2006-07. The plan, however, moves the state in the wrong direction in terms of reaching its longer-term goal of getting its fiscal house in order. Given the state’s current structural budget shortfall, we believe that the 2006-07 budget should focus more on paying down existing debt before making expansive new commitments.
January 12, 2005 - The Governor's proposal contains significant program savings—particularly in K-12 education, social services, and transportation—and borrowing to address the state's 2005-06 budget shortfall. While the 2005-06 proposal has several positive attributes, it falls well short of fully addressing the state's ongoing projected fiscal imbalances. Moreover, its budget reform proposals would put more future state spending on "cruise control" and hamper the ability of future policy makers to establish budget priorities.
January 13, 2004 - We believe that the Governor's proposal provides a solid starting point for budget deliberations. It includes realistic revenue and caseload assumptions, as well as real and ongoing solutions from most areas of the budget. At the same time, however, it presents the Legislature with numerous policy issues and concerns. For example, its reductions would have far-reaching consequences for the scope of state services in a variety of program areas. Some of its proposals lack detail or have savings estimates that may not be achievable. And, even with the serious spending reductions it proposes in 2004-05 the plan does not fully address the state's ongoing budget problem—leaving a roughly $6 billion shortfall between expenditures and revenues in 2005-06.
January 15, 2003 - On January 10, the Governor released a plan for addressing his projected $34.6 billion General Fund budget shortfall. Although this shortfall estimate and the level of required solutions is somewhat overstated, the problem is still enormous. The Legislature faces a formidable task in carefully evaluating the plan's individual elements and the many important policy issues it raises. It is also important that the Legislature take early and decisive action to get the state's fiscal house in order.
January 15, 2002 - The 2002-03 Governor's Budget offers a plan for addressing the state's $12-plus billion budgetary shortfall. While "on paper" the plan appears to work, many of its assumptions are overly optimistic, it relies largely on one-time solutions, and it results in substantial long- term out-year costs. Moreover, the plan does not resolve the state's budgetary imbalance in subsequent years.
January 12, 2001 - The Governor released his proposed state budget on January 10th. The budget assumes $2.3 billion less in resources than the $10.3 billion in uncommitted funds we reported in November, primarily reflecting the recent slowing in the national economy. The budget proposal allocates the remaining $8 billion in uncommitted resources to finance increased spending ($5.5 billion, including major new initiatives in the areas of education and energy), cut taxes ($0.1 billion), and provide for a budgetary reserve ($2.4 billion).
January 14, 2000 - Recent economic and revenue trends have continued to far surpass expectations. These positive trends are likely to result in revenues exceeding the Governor's budget forecast by $3 billion in the current year and budget year combined. We believe that approximately half of these additional revenues should be devoted to one-time purposes, while the remainder could be available for ongoing commitments, whether for new spending or tax relief.
January 15, 1997 - On January 9, the Governor released his 1997-98 state budget proposal. California's continued economic recovery combined with a variety of other factors have enabled the Governor to submit a balanced budget with a modest reserve, moderate expenditure growth including significant increases for education, and a corporate tax reduction.
January 1, 1994 - The 1994-95 Governor's Budget recognizes that the two-year budget plan adopted last June has been undermined by the continuing stubborn state recession. Faced with an $8 billion budget funding gap for 1993-94, the Legislature and Governor adopted a two-year plan to achieve a balanced budget in 1994-95. That plan now is $4.9 billion out of balance based on the state's current revenue and spending trends identified in the 1994-95 Governor's Budget.