Sacramento, CA — Governor Jerry Brown claims his revised budget proposal provides health care to millions more Californians, and pays down several debts.
The General Fund budget is estimated to be around $108 billion, around $1 billion more than what was proposed this past January.
“This May Revision is good news for California,” said Governor Brown at a press conference this morning. “It shows that California can afford to provide health care to many more people, while at the same time paying its debts and shoring up the long-troubled teachers’ retirement system.”
Tax revenue in the current fiscal year is running ahead of expectations by more than $2 billion.
The Governor’s Office has released the following information regarding what it feels are the significant details of the May Revision:
Shoring Up Teacher Pensions
The May Revision proposes a plan of shared responsibility among the state, school districts and teachers to shore up the State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS). The increased contributions in the first year from all three parties total about $450 million, but would grow thereafter to more than $5 billion annually in 2020-21. The plan would eliminate the unfunded liability in approximately 30 years.
Implementing Federal Health Care Reform
Compared to what was projected in the January budget, 1.4 million more people will be covered through Medi-Cal, at a cost of an additional $1.2 billion. Enrollment is now expected to rise from 7.9 million in 2012-13 to 11.5 million in 2014-15, for a total cost increase of $2.4 billion.
Increased Money for Drought Response
The May Revision provides an additional $142 million ($121 million General Fund) in drought-related expenditures to reflect necessary spending on firefighting, emergency response, water management, wildlife preservation and food assistance.
Paying Down Debts and Liabilities
The Governor’s January Budget proposes to reduce the Wall of Debt by more than $11 billion this year alone and fully eliminate it by 2017-18. The Budget will completely pay off all remaining deferrals to schools and the Economic Recovery Bonds this year. The May Revision includes an additional $100 million to repay a portion of existing mandate reimbursement claims that have been owed to local governments since at least 2004.
You can find the full budget summary by clicking here.