Last week, Governor Brown released his revised budget, revealing an unanticipated $6.6 billion increase in tax revenues that may soften the blow to some programs, but do little to shield others. Gov. Brown wants to close the state’s remaining $9.6 billion budget deficit by extending temporary increases in sales, vehicle and personal income taxes, but so far doesn’t have enough Republican support to approve his budget plan.
In the May Revise, Gov. Brown softened the hit to California’s K-12 education by forcing the schools to maintain flat funding, despite an increase in number of students for the upcoming academic year. However, in higher education, tuition may again be on the rise to compensate for budget shortfalls. The University of California and California State University systems could face up to $1 billion in funding cuts, and community college fees are likely to increase $10 per unit, without the tax extensions.
In the state funded social services arena, programs for youth, the elderly, mentally disabled, and low-income families are also facing severe cuts. Governor Brown has also called for the elimination of 43 boards and commissions and hundreds of redevelopment agencies, $15 million in cuts to local libraries, the elimination of all state support to county fairs, and the closure of 70 state parks.