BROWN BUDGET: MORE MONEY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE POOR

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East County News Service

May 20, 2015 (Sacramento)--Governor Brown has unveiled a $115.3 billion proposed budget for California. If approved by the Legislature, his plan would create a new state tax credit to help the working poor. It would also boost funding for the California State University system and free tuition at the University of California for in-state students. The Legislature has until June 15th to approve a budget for the Governor’s signature.

Brown’s revised budget reflects revenues that have soared by $6.7 billion since January, when Brown proposed a more conservative preliminary budget.

A $380 tax credit for the working poor could help up to 2 million people in families earning $13,870 a year or less with four or more people, according to the Governor’s office.  The average tax credit would be $460 a year with a maximum of $2,653 that a family could receive.

Brown’s office indicates the new budget also “invests in the quality and affordability of the state’s higher education system.”

It calls for $38 million in additional funding for CSU, in addition to a $119.5 million increase proposed back in January, for a total of almost $158 million. The measure also requires that CSU freeze tuition and fees through the 2015-16 school year.

But the boost still falls short of the $269 million CSU trustees had asked for, and the state college system has shut over 20,000 to 30,000 qualified students in each of the last few years due to economic shortfalls. 

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Association, said while CSU is happy to get more, the amount is “disappointing,” adding, “We can’t get out of the hole if the state won’t make an investment, and it just takes a toll on everyone involved.”

The University of California will receive $436 million in additional state funding to offset pension costs, and in exchange has agreed to freeze undergraduate tuition for the next two years for residents. 

The Daily Bruin, a student newspaper at the University of California Los Angeles, faults the Governor’s budget for putting too much emphasis on online education which the publication contends is unproven.  

Ara Shirinian at the daily Bruin writes, “This creates a slippery slope that might end in a significant loss of interaction between students and professors. We should not be continuing the trend and jumping from large classes to online classes; we should be striving for lower class sizes. As it stands, the agreement is pushing the UC in the wrong direction,” he concludes.

East County Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) issued this statement on the budget. "Governor Brown has put forth a budget proposal that substantially pays down California’s debt, invests in education, and helps California’s poorest citizens by establishing an Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Jones. “These proposals are a refreshing change from the tax-and-spend approach of the past – but our state still has a long way to go. To see true economic and job growth, we’ll need to go beyond what the governor has proposed. Sacramento needs to revoke job-killing policies, repeal crippling regulations, and pursue sensible reforms of environmental policies such as CEQA.”

“Governor Brown has put forth a budget proposal that substantially pays down California’s debt, invests in education, and helps California’s poorest citizens by establishing an Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Jones. “These proposals are a refreshing change from the tax-and-spend approach of the past – but our state still has a long way to go. To see true economic and job growth, we’ll need to go beyond what the governor has proposed. Sacramento needs to revoke job-killing policies, repeal crippling regulations, and pursue sensible reforms of environmental policies such as CEQA.”

“In addition, I am pleased that Governor Brown has recognized that California still faces persistent fiscal instability, even despite the surplus this year; unfortunately, Democrats have still increased spending by one-third more than when I first took office.  This budget season, I hope the Legislature will finally practice fiscal restraint and not turn another revenue surplus into another budget crisis.”

- See more at: https://ad71.assemblygop.com/press-release/7721#sthash.1KUQWTZw.dpuf

“Governor Brown has put forth a budget proposal that substantially pays down California’s debt, invests in education, and helps California’s poorest citizens by establishing an Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Jones. “These proposals are a refreshing change from the tax-and-spend approach of the past – but our state still has a long way to go. To see true economic and job growth, we’ll need to go beyond what the governor has proposed. Sacramento needs to revoke job-killing policies, repeal crippling regulations, and pursue sensible reforms of environmental policies such as CEQA.”

“In addition, I am pleased that Governor Brown has recognized that California still faces persistent fiscal instability, even despite the surplus this year; unfortunately, Democrats have still increased spending by one-third more than when I first took office.  This budget season, I hope the Legislature will finally practice fiscal restraint and not turn another revenue surplus into another budget crisis.”

- See more at: https://ad71.assemblygop.com/press-release/7721#sthash.1KUQWTZw.dpuf

“Governor Brown has put forth a budget proposal that substantially pays down California’s debt, invests in education, and helps California’s poorest citizens by establishing an Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Jones. “These proposals are a refreshing change from the tax-and-spend approach of the past – but our state still has a long way to go. To see true economic and job growth, we’ll need to go beyond what the governor has proposed. Sacramento needs to revoke job-killing policies, repeal crippling regulations, and pursue sensible reforms of environmental policies such as CEQA.”

“In addition, I am pleased that Governor Brown has recognized that California still faces persistent fiscal instability, even despite the surplus this year; unfortunately, Democrats have still increased spending by one-third more than when I first took office.  This budget season, I hope the Legislature will finally practice fiscal restraint and not turn another revenue surplus into another budget crisis.”

- See more at: https://ad71.assemblygop.com/press-release/7721#sthash.1KUQWTZw.dpuf