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Reactions To Proposed 2014-15 State Budget

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Late last week, Governor Jerry Brown proposed a balanced budget that pays off more than $11 billion in debt and builds a lasting rainy day fund while continuing to invest in public schools and expand health care coverage for millions.

Brown was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

Here’s what statewide and local elected officials, newspaper editorial boards and education, public safety, business and environmental groups are saying about the proposed budget:

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom: The Governor’s Budget Is “Sensible, Balanced And Socially Progressive.” “The Governor has once again kept his promise to be straight with the people of California and released a sensible, balanced and socially progressive budget.” (Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom Statement,1/9/14)

Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg: “I Appreciate The Governor’s Aggressive Approach.” “I appreciate the Governor’s aggressive approach to more than double the reserve and pay down debt even more quickly than we had hoped.” (Senator Darrell Steinberg Press Release, 1/9/14)

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez: “I’m Pleased To See So Many Areas Of Agreement Between The Governor And The Assembly.” “Assembly Democrats want to maintain stability and expand opportunity. There is much in the Governor’s budget proposal that supports those goals. I’m pleased to see so many areas of agreement between the Governor and the Assembly, particularly how strongly he has embraced the rainy day fund that is the cornerstone of the Assembly’s proposal.” (Assemblymember John A. Pérez Press Release, 1/9/14)

Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway: “Now Is The Time To Tackle The Wall Of Debt.” “Now is the time to tackle the wall of debt, avoid the budget mistakes of the past and invest in our future so that our economy grows. The Governor sounds receptive to those ideas and Assembly Republicans stand ready to work in good faith to achieve those goals.” (Assemblymember Connie Conway Press Release, 1/9/14)

Treasurer Bill Lockyer: “This Is A Sound, Sober, Fiscally Wise Plan.” “This is a sound, sober, fiscally wise plan. It resists the temptation to not worry about the next, inevitable economic downturn, and offers a more sensible, flexible way to build a strong reserve. It erases from the books the debt created by one of the biggest fiscal mistakes in the state’s history – the deficit financing bonds authorized in 2004. And it’s up-front with Californians about the true extent of pension and other long-term liabilities the state faces. If the final budget that emerges from negotiations between the Governor and Legislature closely resembles this blueprint, it will be a budget the state can be proud of and the rating agencies and investors will embrace.” (Treasurer Bill Lockyer Press Release, 1/9/14)

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee: The Governor’s Budget “Balances Long-Term Fiscal Prudence With The Need To Invest.” “I congratulate Governor Brown for his leadership in building a budget proposal that balances long-term fiscal prudence with the need to invest in our State’s education and infrastructure. For years, the State’s budget has been a gloomy reminder of the negative impacts of a serious economic recession that has negatively affected our cities and our residents. But today, as we learn about the $10 billion commitment to education, the large re-investment in High Speed Rail, and the Governor’s commitment to Infrastructure Financing Districts, we are very hopeful about the direction the State is heading.” (San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Press Release, 1/9/14)

LA Times: “Gov. Brown Is Wise To Focus On Paying Down Debt And Increasing Spending On Education.” “The state’s fortunes have improved dramatically in the last two years, but Gov. Brown is wise to focus on paying down debt and increasing spending on education […”> California’s fortunes have improved so dramatically in the last two years, it was hard for even Gov. Jerry ‘Era of Limits’ Brown to sound dour about the government’s finances when he rolled out his $155-billion budget proposal last week. The tax increases that Brown persuaded voters to approve in November 2012 have not only averted the need to slash more from education and other state programs, they’ve helped generate a multibillion-dollar surplus. Yet Brown has stuck with the cautious practices that led the state safely to this point, proposing to pay down debt and focus new spending on education rather than trying to undo all the cuts the Legislature made during the downturn. As hard as the reductions have been for some vital state programs, Brown is right to stay the course.” (LA Times Editorial, 1/12/14)

LA Daily News: “Overall, It’s A Prudent And Sensible Budget.” “Brown laid out a well-balanced approach Thursday in his initial budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, increasing funding substantially for education while paying down the state’s “wall of debt,” as he likes to call it. […”> Overall, it’s a prudent and sensible budget, a good way to kick off six months of negotiations with the Legislature.” (LA Daily News Editorial, 1/9/14)

Sacramento Bee: “Gov. Jerry Brown Sounded Many Of The Right Notes.” “…Gov. Jerry Brown sounded many of the right notes in the fourth budget of his third term as governor, promising to boost school spending by $10 billion and using $11 billion to pay down debt.” [Sacramento Bee Editorial, 1/10/14″>

San Francisco Chronicle: “The Governor Has Hewed Close To His Promise To Put The State On Firm Fiscal Ground.” “Brown is wisely resisting the pressure to restore the budget to its past size. But his spending plan is not quite frugal, representing an 8 percent increase to $106.8 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1. […”> On balance, though, the governor has hewed close to his promise to put the state on firm fiscal ground.” (San Francisco Chronicle Editorial, 1/9/14)

La Opinión: “El Gobernador Se Ha Mantenido Fiel A Su Prioridad Educative.” “El gobernador se ha mantenido fiel a su prioridad educativa, reforzando económicamente la nueva fórmula de financiamiento local, la que beneficiará principalmente a los estudiantes de minorías y los aprendices de inglés. De igual manera, los reiterados incrementos del registro en las universidades estatales serán temas del pasado.” (La Opinión Editorial, 1/10/14)

Riverside Press Enterprise: “Brown Rightly Notes That Flush Budget Times Never Last.” “Fiscal caution is the proper response to the state’s tax-receipt windfall. Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget proposal largely focuses on paying off old debts and stabilizing state finances rather than on big new programs. […”> But Brown rightly notes that flush budget times never last. Nearly 10 percent of general fund tax receipts depend on capital gains, which can swing wildly from year to year.” (Riverside Press Enterprise Editorial, 1/9/14)

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Governor Brown’s Budget “Delivered Something For Almost Everyone.” “A good year on Wall Street is good news for California’s treasury. And, as anyone who with mutual funds or a 401(k) account can tell you, 2013 was a very good year for investors. In turn, 2014 is shaping up nicely for Gov. Jerry Brown, who delivered something for almost everyone in his budget for the coming fiscal year. Brown’s $155 billion spending plan, unveiled Thursday, benefits from robust growth in tax revenue, most notably capital gains taxes, which have tripled since 2010.” (Santa Rosa Press Democrat Editorial, 1/10/14)

Ventura County Star: “Wisely, He Wants To Build Up The State’s Rainy-Day Fund.” “The governor is trying to be cautious about new spending, even sending a clear message that legislators should not expect funding for their pet projects. He very appropriately calls for the state to pay back billions of dollars it borrowed in the recession years. Wisely, he wants to build up the state’s rainy-day fund, which should be a priority for responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.” (Ventura County Star Editorial, 1/11/14)

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Governor “Delivers On His Pledge To Higher Education.” “Still, Brown is directing $45.2 billion to K-12 schools — up $4 billion from the current fiscal year. Schools will also get $3.3 billion in deferred payments — money the state took to balance budgets in previous years. Brown’s budget also delivers on his pledge to higher education — the University of California and California State University systems would see a 5 percent increase in funding — or an additional $142 million each […”> An improving economy and a tax measure have benefitted the governor greatly, but considering the mess he inherited, If Californians were asked, ‘Are you better off today than in January 2011?’ so far, the answer is ‘yes.'” (Santa Cruz Sentinel Editorial, 1/11/14)

University Of California Vice President For Budget And Capital Resources Patrick Lenz: The UC “Appreciates Gov. Brown’s Commitment To Full Funding…For The University.” “The leadership of the University of California appreciates Gov. Brown’s commitment to full funding for the second year of his multi-year budget plan for the university. The governor is proposing an additional $142.2 million from the state general fund, representing a 5 percent increase in state funding for UC over the previous year.” (University of California Press Release, 1/9/14)

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White: “We Applaud The Governor For Sustaining His Commitment To The Multi-Year Funding Plan For The California State University.” “We applaud the Governor for sustaining his commitment to the multi-year funding plan for the California State University (CSU). This investment enables us to serve California’s future economic growth, and social mobility for our populace, through affordable access to high quality education and degrees. The good news for the CSU and its students is that the proposed budget will enable the University to improve existing programs and services, and maintain tuition at the current rate for the fourth consecutive year.” (California State University Press Release, 1/9/14)

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris: “Gov. Brown’s Proposal Is Welcome News For California And For The Economy.” “After years of budget cuts forced us to turn away hundreds of thousands of students, Gov. Brown’s proposal is welcome news for California and for the economy. With an 11.4 percent increase in funding we are now on the way to adding back the much needed classes that will restore our system’s ability to provide educational opportunities for those seeking to improve their lives at community colleges […”> We embrace the governor’s call to continue to improve and streamline transfer opportunities across all segments of higher education. Simply put, this proposed budget does more to help community college students than any in recent memory.” (California Community Colleges Press Release, 1/9/14)

California State Association Of Counties President And Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia: Governor’s Budget “Balances The Need For Continued Fiscal Discipline” And “Investing In Education, Health Care, Public Safety, And Rebuilding The State’s Aging Infrastructure.” “We commend the Governor for presenting a budget proposal that balances the need for continued fiscal discipline which has helped the state recover from the recession and the importance of investing in education, health care, public safety, and rebuilding the state’s aging infrastructure. California counties are uniquely positioned to work with the Governor and the Legislature on achieving our mutual goal of healthy and safe communities. In particular, counties are gratified that the Governor recognizes health care and public safety as key priorities for improving our communities.” (California State Association of Counties Press Release, 1/9/14)

California Teachers Association President Dean E. Vogel: “California Teachers Appreciate The Governor’s Continued Commitment To Public Education.” “California teachers appreciate the governor’s continued commitment to public education and to repaying the billions of dollars that had been cut from students, schools and colleges. The governor’s proposed budget will help our public schools and colleges continue to heal after years of devastating cuts. As we heal our schools, we heal our communities. This budget will allow local school districts to continue to restore critical programs and provide the resources that educators need to help students learn. CTA continues to review the details of the governor’s budget plan, including the rainy day fund proposal and the impact it will have on school funding.” (California Teachers Association Press Release, 1/9/14)

Association Of California School Administrators Executive Director Wes Smith: “This Budget Proposal Provides Extraordinary Opportunities For Our Public Schools And Students.” “With more than $10 billion in additional revenues for public education, this budget proposal provides extraordinary opportunities for our public schools and students. We applaud the governor for investing resources and addressing years of debt incurred by districts. As we implement the second year of the Local Control Funding Formula, this budget proposal ensures we can restore critical programs and services, invest in our classrooms and meet the needs of underserved students.” (Association of California School Administrators Press Release, 1/9/14)

California School Boards Association President And Cupertino Union School District Josephine Lucey: “This Is Positive And Much Needed News For California’s Schools And Students.” “This is positive and much needed news for California’s schools and students. This major investment will help move more school districts towards full restoration of pre-recession funding levels, providing school district leaders and board members the opportunity to restore and invest in programs that best serve its students to achieve academic success.” (California School Boards Association Press Release, 1/9/14)

California Charter Schools Association President And CEO Jed Wallace: “We Applaud Governor Brown’s Strong Commitment To The Students Of California.” “We applaud Governor Brown’s strong commitment to the students of California, as reflected in his budget proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This proposal will accelerate funding for those students who need it most and continue to restore education funding after significant cuts from previous years.” (California Charter Schools Association Press Release, 1/9/14)

California Chamber Of Commerce President And CEO Allan Zaremberg: “We Applaud Governor Brown’s Commitments To A Balanced Budget, No New Taxes, Repayment Of Debt, A Rainy Day Fund, And Investments In Education And Infrastructure.” “We applaud Governor Brown’s commitments to a balanced budget, no new taxes, repayment of debt, a rainy day fund, and investments in education and infrastructure. We look forward to working with the administration in the coming months to protect these budget priorities so that California can move from recovery to prosperity.” (California Chamber of Commerce Press Release, 1/9/14)

California Business Roundtable President Rob Lapsley: “Spending Plan Proposed By Governor Brown Is A Responsible, Balanced Approach To Stabilizing California’s Finances.” “The state spending plan proposed by Governor Brown is a responsible, balanced approach to stabilizing California’s finances. The Governor keeps his commitment to use temporary revenues resulting from Prop 30 to strengthen education in our state while clearly recognizing that the overwhelming share of the current revenue increases are likely temporary, and are used for significant debt reduction, one-time infrastructure improvements, and funding of the Rainy Day Reserve. […”> We are prepared to support the Governor as his budget proposals move forward.” (California Business Roundtable Press Release, 1/9/14)

California Manufacturers And Technology Association President Jack Stewart: “The Combination Of Spending Restraint And No New Taxes Is A Positive Sign For Manufacturers And Others Looking To Invest And Locate In California.” “Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a prudent and balanced budget today that will help ensure that future budgets can also be balanced while the economy continues to recover to full strength. He noted that California is a relatively high tax state and we appreciate that his budget does not include new tax proposals. The combination of spending restraint and no new taxes is a positive sign for manufacturers and others looking to invest and locate in California. We commend the Governor for presenting a responsible budget that works toward an improved economy while focusing on our schools, health care and public safety.” (California Manufacturers and Technology Association Press Release, 1/9/14)

Chief Probation Officers of California President And Marin County Chief Probation Officer Michael Daly: “We Appreciate Governor Brown’s Continued Commitment To Investing In Probation And Public Safety.” “We appreciate Governor Brown’s continued commitment to investing in probation and public safety programs as part of his proposed 2014-15 budget. Community Corrections is integral to developing ongoing solutions to address the three-judge panel. Investments in evidence-based programs that reduce repeat offenses, like those programs funded in SB 678, are reflective of these efforts. We look forward to working in concert with the Governor and the Legislature in a comprehensive approach to enhance probation’s ability to increase rehabilitation efforts to end the cycle of offending.” (Chief Probation Officers of California Press Release, 1/9/14)

California Forward President And CEO James P. Mayer: “Governor Brown’s Budget Proposal Strengthens Critical Reforms.” “Governor Brown’s budget proposal strengthens critical reforms to how California is governed. The budget would improve fiscal management, bolster the delivery of community services, invest in critical infrastructure and encourage the creation of well-paying jobs.” (California Forward Blog, 1/9/14)

The Nature Conservancy Director Of Policy And External Affairs Jay Ziegler: The “Budget Breaks Important New Ground In Addressing Climate Change.” “Governor Brown’s proposed 2015 state budget breaks important new ground in addressing climate change, integrating better monitoring and management of water resources and addressing critical natural resource management challenges […”> Even in confronting a potentially historic and frightening drought year, we see important opportunities that Governor Brown has set forth in achieving more sustainable management of California’s natural resources. We look forward to working with the Brown Administration and the Legislature to implement these important changes.” (The Nature Conservancy Press Release, 1/9/14)

Environmental Defense Fund Attorney Erica Morehouse: “We Expect These And Subsequent Investments To Pay Dividends To The Health Of Our Citizens, Our Environment, And Our Economy For Years To Come.” “Today, Governor Brown committed to the first of many critical cap-and-trade investments in disadvantaged communities and cleaner options for Californians. With this new virtuous cycle of investment, we expect these and subsequent investments to pay dividends to the health of our citizens, our environment, and our economy for years to come.” (Environmental Defense Fund Blog, 1/7/14)

Natural Resources Defense Council, California Climate Project Legal Director Alex Jackson: The Governor’s Plan “Offers A Promising Start For Promoting Clean Energy.” “[…”> Governor Brown’s FY14-15 cap-and-trade expenditure plan offers a promising start for promoting clean energy in this year’s budget process.” (National Resources Defense Council Blog, 1/7/14″>)

California Business Alliance For A Green Economy Director Susan Frank: Budget Proposal “Will Likely Cement California’s Position As A National And International Leader On Clean Energy And Climate.” “Governor Brown deserves our praise for putting forward a budget proposal that will likely cement California’s position as a national and international leader on clean energy and climate, and for providing a plan for spending AB 32 cap and trade auction proceeds that ultimately will benefit all Californians.” (California Business Alliance for a Green Economy Blog, 1/7/14)

Advanced Energy Economy Senior Vice President Of Communications And Director Of California Initiatives Steve Chadima: The Governor’s Budget “Is Fiscally Prudent And Reinforces California’s Leadership In Advanced Energy.” “AEE commends the Governor for proposing a budget that is fiscally prudent and reinforces California’s leadership in advanced energy. Advanced energy is critical to California’s future and Governor Brown continues to place a priority on energy investments with a high potential for economic development and job growth. Returning borrowed cap and trade funds for use towards advanced energy programs further reinforces our mutual belief that California’s efforts to realize its 2020 emissions goals will accelerate economic development in the state. California’s advanced energy industry will continue to work with all elected officials to deliver on this promise.” (Advanced Energy Economy Press Release, 1/9/14)

Greenlining Institute: “We Are Thrilled” That The Governor’s Budget Will Help Ensure “That Every Californian Enjoys The Benefits Of Cleaner Air.” “The budget summary designates $200 million in proceeds from the state’s cap and trade auctions to advance Low Carbon Transportation. This means that there will be money to clean up cars, trucks, and buses. We are thrilled that elements of this proposal align with the Charge Ahead California campaign to put one million electric cars, trucks and buses on the road and make sure that every Californian enjoys the benefits of cleaner air and fuel savings.” (Greenlining Institute Blog, 1/9/14)

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 am.