In a Ventura County Star opinion piece, columnist Dan Walters writes that the last two budgets proposed by Gov. Brown "cleaved deeply into California's safety net of health and welfare services." He writes that a series of bills have been introduced in the state Legislature to restore certain services. According to Walters, the bills will "test whether Brown meant what he said, or [if] it was just tax hike rhetoric." Ventura County Star.
A report from the state Department of Public Health finds that California has made improvements in key public health measures. According to the report, the rate of most illnesses in the state decreased between 2006 and 2011. KPCC's "KPCC News," Ventura County Star.
A new Bureau of State Audits report found that California's general fund spent $1.7 billion more than it received in revenues in fiscal year 2012, resulting in an accumulated deficit of about $23 billion and a negative state net worth of $127.2 billion. The report listed the state's long-term obligations at $167.9 billion, which did not include the more than $60 billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health care. Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert."
On Tuesday, Sen. Richard Roth pledged to push for the reinstatement of $15 million in annual state funding to ensure that UC-Riverside's School of Medicine -- scheduled to open this fall -- can operate at full capacity with classes of 80 students. In 2011, the funding was withdrawn amid the state's budget crisis, forcing the school to open one year later with a smaller inaugural enrollment of 50 students. Riverside Press-Enterprise.
In his latest monthly budget report released Monday,
California Controller John Chiang said state tax revenue for the first eight
months of the state's fiscal year outpaced preliminary estimates by $4.5
billion, in part because of higher-than-expected personal income taxes. He also
noted that total revenue in February was $5.3 billion, more than 20% higher
than in February 2012. Los Angeles Times'
"PolitiCal" et al.
This week, the Senate is expected to vote on a Democratic and a GOP proposal to avoid mandated cuts under sequestration. Neither proposal is expected to pass. The sequester would reduce Medicare reimbursement rates as well as funding for CDC, NIH and other areas. The Hill et al.
Health care and public employees' salaries and retirement benefits are taking up a larger proportion of the state budget, according to a report released Tuesday by California Common Sense, a nonpartisan research group at Stanford University. The report found that that state health care programs saw the biggest increase in spending, growing from 13% to 20% of the state budget in the past six years. Los Angeles Times' "PolitiCal."
Columnist Thomas Elias writes that Affordable Care Act implementation in California will lead to "[c]overage for many hundreds of thousands of the previously uninsured," as well as "savings both to low-income individuals and the state that together will mount well into the billions." Ventura County Star.
In his monthly budget statement issued Friday, State Controller John Chiang said California's tax revenue for January exceeded estimates in Gov. Brown's fiscal year 2013-2014 budget proposal by $4.3 billion, in part because of higher-than-expected personal income taxes. However, he warned that "given our state's troubled history with boom-or-bust revenue cycles, this good news must be tempered with increased fiscal discipline in how we interpret and budget January's collections." Sacramento Business Journal, Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert."
An Orange County Register editorial argues that the pension reform bill that Gov. Brown signed in September 2012 is "under attack" from a bill -- introduced by Assembly member Luis Alejo last month -- that would exempt tens of thousands of public workers from the new law. The editorial urges Brown "to step in and stop the erosion of the pension reform he brokered." Orange County Register.
The Legislative Analyst's Office says that California likely will collect $5 billion more in January income tax revenue than originally expected. Some legislative Democrats say the state should use extra revenue to increase health program spending. Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert."
A Public Policy Institute of California poll finds that 55% of state residents support the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the poll finds that 69% of residents support Gov. Brown's new budget plan, while 51% approve of his work as governor. HealthyCal et al.
On Monday, the San Bernardino City Council voted to approve $26 million in salary and benefit cuts for city employees. The city -- which filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2012 -- adopted the cuts in November 2012 as part of an operating budget. City Attorney James Penman said the council "has the authority to impose" the cuts and will do so because officials have been unable to reach a deal with unions representing city employees. Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Yesterday, Gov. Brown delivered his State of the State address and promoted his fiscal year 2013-2014 budget proposal. Brown also discussed the upcoming Medi-Cal expansion and called for a special Legislative session on health care next week. Reuters et al.
Gov. Brown is expected to deliver an optimistic State of the State address following the release of his proposal to provide a budget surplus. However, observers say Brown and Democratic lawmakers could be at odds over spending efforts. Los Angeles Times, Contra Costa Times.