Gov. Brown in San Diego to talk budget

Governor Jerry Brown came with his charts and graphs to preach his message of fiscal austerity. He’s in San Diego, but he’s talking to Sacramento emphasizing the days of annual deficits must come to an end.

“In fact, you look at that chart there (at 650) of the 15 years shown, there are only three surpluses, three, so now we’re in good shape.”

Even though we are projecting surpluses, the governor says we have to hold on to that money, not spend it when revenues increase. His answer is a rainy day fund.

“The habit has been to create those deficits because, on the high they spend money, and they can’t cut it when the money falls out.”

He talks of the liabilities in the state’s wall of long-term debt that totals $355 billion.

“I’m determined to keep our budget in balance, to meet our basic social obligations, pay down our long-term liabilities and not end up as happened with so many governors before.”

And how does the governor reconcile the largest budget in California history with austerity? He says by balancing income to expenses.

“Between January and May, we got a couple billion more; between January and May, our expense went up by the same amount.”

Brown says there remains a lot of unknowns and uncertainties, and we need to keep a tight rein on spending – another frontal attack on fellow Democrats who want to spend.

“There are desires that then become needs, that then becomes rights, and that then becomes validated in new legislation.”

As negotiations with legislators gets underway, Brown says he looks forward to dealing with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, whom he calls experienced and reasonable. In her speech on Monday, Atkins let it be known we need to do more for the neediest among us.

“Their dreams were put on hold or spread out over a longer time frame. And sadly, I think some relinquished their dreams. We can’t let that happen.”

But the governor remains firm on spending.

“As we look it it, this is the money the people have given. And a significant part – $7 billion – is temporary, sales tax is going to go away in a couple of years.”

Health care spending is going up, schools will get more money and the bullet train is still alive, some of the thorny issues to be resolved. So, the battle of the budget between the governor and the legislature is underway, and Speaker Toni Atkins will be negotiating for the Assembly. She will need all of her skills.

Categories: KUSI