Gov. Brown’s 2011 budget plan for California

Governor Jerry Brown says California has run out of choices. In proposing his first budget he said, “if the state is to be returned to fiscal responsibility there will be pain and shared sacrifice.”

Brown wants to realign government, and reverse the effects of Proposition-13 which capped property taxes, and thereby made cities and counties more dependent on revenue from the state. His realignment would shift state programs back to local governments with enough state money to fund them.

But for his plan to work Democrats in the legislature will have to accept deep cuts to higher education, health care, and social programs. Republicans, and the voters will have to agree to extending tax increases.

“There is a significant number of people who have an open mind and it will be up to the legislature, and myself, and the business community, citizen groups, and parent teacher associations to make the case,” said Brown.

His budget cuts include a billion dollar cut from higher education, welfare will be cut by 1.5-billion, 1.7-billion from medical, and 750-million from the developmentally disabled. State workers will also have to take a 10-percent pay cut. Totaling 12.5-billion in state cuts.

“That will be very painful but this is the world we live in. You can't manufacture money,” Gov. Brown continued to say at his press conference.

On the revenue side Brown wants the voters to extend the temporary tax hikes on sales, vehicle registration and incomes for another 5-years.

He says this will not be easy but the alternative is unacceptable, “we are cutting, we are extending the taxes, and we are restructuring, and I believe that is the way to go. It's gonad be objected too but there are even more people who say, thank god, we're finally facing the music.”

Cities, including San Diego, and counties have strenuously objected to state raids on their redevelopment dollars. There will be no more raids. Instead brown will legislate them out of existence. Brown plans to eliminate redevelopment agencies so property tax that would have flowed, tax increment from redevelopment agencies, is no longer and that would be available locally.

What is missing in this budget is pension reform, one of the largest expenses in the state budget. Brown says he will offer details on that later.

There will be vocal opposition to this budget from every entity affected, but Brown is taking the long view to restore fiscal responsibility to state government. “As the chief executive here I'm trying to forge a consensus of wider agreement, get people out of their ideological positioning. As California and the country becomes more prudent we're going to have to live in a more conservative fashion, its just that simple.”

Mayor Jerry Sanders says losing redevelopment agencies would jeopardize important projects and the creation of thousands of jobs. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association says Sacramento politicians regard no tax as temporary.

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