This is really great news that the state budget will be without a deficit—though we would have preferred it happen without tax increases—as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
“Gov. Jerry Brown declared Thursday that California’s budget deficit has vanished thanks to new tax hikes and past spending cuts, marking the first time since the recession that state leaders haven’t faced a deep fiscal chasm in January.
“The Democratic governor proposed additional money for K-12 schools and higher education in his $97.7 billion general fund budget while restraining growth in most other programs.
“We have to live within the means we have, otherwise we get to that situation where we get red ink and then go back to cuts,” Brown said. “So I want to avoid the boom and the bust, the borrow and the spend, where we make the promise and then we take it back.”
“Brown proposed an additional $250 million each for the University of California and CaliforniaStateUniversity systems, with a catch: He wants to cap the number of state-subsidized classes students can take at 1.5 times the number typically needed to graduate. He believes students would earn degrees faster, opening slots and saving money.
“The governor embraced a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul by agreeing to extend Medi-Cal to as many as 1 million low-income residents previously ineligible for the program. That mostly includes adults living without children.
“The federal government will pay nearly all health care costs for those individuals from 2014 through 2016. But Brown fears a reversal from Obama and Congress, as well as greater costs once California picks up more of the tab.”