State Budget

State Budget

Name-Calling: RivCo Supervisor Says Guv is Brown-Nosing Special Interests in Critical Letter

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone has penned a letter that was circulated to several Southern California newspapers. The letter is heavily critical of the governor’s campaign to raise taxes with a ballot measure and throughout the article the governor is referred to as “Gov. Brown(nose)” to suggest that the governor is brown-nosing special interests over the interests of the taxpayers.

Cutbacks in SB’s Proposed Budget; Board Chairwoman Criticizes Impact of Guv’s Budget on County

San Bernardino County has released its proposed spending plan for the 2012-2013 fiscal year and it tops $4 billion. The budget whittles away at the county’s five-year budget deficit by slashing $33.2 million from an estimated cumulative deficit expected to reach $91.5 million through 2015-2016. The budget calls for reduced services and employee benefits and while the county lost over 700 workers last year, 107 positions could be added this time around; however, those jobs will stem primarily from realignment.

Under Pressure: Concerns Remain About Safety and Capacity Under Realignment

The pressure placed upon county jails under realignment continues to raise concerns across the state as counties not only struggle to make room for an influx of inmates but also handle the ramifications of releasing less-serious offenders in order to increase capacity. Take Riverside County, which has released 1,500 offenders early in the past five months, which means law enforcement authorities have to use their best judgment deciding which inmates should reasonably be let go.

LAO Dissect Governor’s Budget Estimates; Says Deficit is Likely Higher

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office has now released its take of the governor’s May Budget Revise and the key takeaway is the assertion that the projected deficit may be higher than the $15.7 billion estimate put forth by the governor. While the LAO describes the administration's economic and revenue forecasts as “reasonable,” it posits the deficit is likely closer to $17 billion and that the governor is overstating the amount of property tax revenues the state will rake in from former redevelopment agencies.

Guv Changes Course on Closing CA’s Youth Prisons; Counties to be Charged for Inmates

Citing the burden that counties are already grappling with, the governor has changed course on a plan to close California’s youth prison system, the Division of Juvenile Justice. As part of his budget proposal, the governor previously suggested several months ago that the state should no longer accept serious and violent youthful offenders so that all young inmates could be shifted to counties, thereby extending the reach of realignment.

Governor Urges Voters to Approve Tax Hikes; CSAC Releases Analysis of May Revision

Now that the governor has released his May Revise, the blowback is continuing to take shape as impacted parties, including counties, grapple with how the budget will create reductions in programs and services across the state. CSAC has applauded the fact that the revision sustains funding for realignment, which remains a key issue for counties. It is projected that sales tax revenue and Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenues allocated for realignment will grow from $5.8 billion in FY 2012-12 to $6.8 billion in FY 2014-15.

Counties and Communities Scramble to Save State Parks from Closure

Communities and officials in counties across the state are having varying degrees of success keeping state parks open before around 70 are forced to close their doors this summer. It has fallen to counties, as well as for-profit concessionaires, nonprofit organizations, cities, donors, and the National Park Service to come together in order to form arrangements that will keep beloved parks available for the public’s use.

Budget Worries Remain as State Revenue Falls Short in Controller’s Latest Update

The state continues to fall behind in revenues, according to the State Controller’s latest financial report. Monthly revenues came in $2.44 billion below (-20.2 percent) the latest projections contained in the Governor's proposed 2012-13 Budget. So what in particular led to April’s shortfall? Personal income tax receipts were a big factor because they came in $1.96 billion below (-21.5 percent) projections; in addition, sales taxes were also down by $445.8 million (-54.4 percent).

Budget Report Cause for Concern in Stanislaus; Leaders Criticize State

A third-quarter budget report to county leaders in Stanislaus was less than encouraging because it warned that the county’s current reliance on savings is simply unsustainable. Back in September supervisors approved a budget that had a $54 million deficit and that number has reportedly grown in recent months. The total fund balance is projected to shrink from $358 million to $285 million in July.

New Tribal Compact in Sonoma County Alarms other Tribes; Stronger Focus on Local Impacts

At the end of March, the governor announced that he had signed a new Indian gambling compact with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria so that a new casino could be developed in Sonoma County. If it moves forward, the 3,000-slot-machine project would quickly become the county’s largest employer, but its impact would go beyond job creation and thus the compact calls for the tribe to go to great lengths to mitigate the impacts of the casino’s presence in the region when it comes to traffic, public safety, and the environment.

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