North State Assemblyman and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue issued the following statement today in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s 2014 budget proposal:
“I am pleased that Governor Brown is carefully guarding the state’s surplus. While California is turning the corner on the state’s long-term problems, now is not the time to spend any additional unexpected revenue. Hard-working Californians paid the price for years of irresponsible budget choices by Sacramento liberals with years of cuts to education, public safety and social services. Our state is finally making progress on the budget outlook, and we must exercise caution and fiscal restraint to ensure we avoid the mistakes of the past.”
The Governor’s proposed $106.8 billion general-fund budget seeks to pay down nearly half of the state’s $24.9 billion debt. The Governor also wants to put $1.6 billion in a rainy day fund that will help get the state through future recessions. Other proposals include spending $800 million for infrastructure, $26.3 billion for higher education, and boosting welfare by 5%. The Legislative Analyst’s Office is projecting a $3.2 billion surplus for the next fiscal year.
Additionally, the Governor’s budget reserves $3.3 million for enforcement of marijuana cultivation laws as a result of Logue’s efforts to protect California’s environment from illegal pot growers. “I worked diligently this year to find ways to protect our resources from illegal marijuana cultivation,” said Logue. “I am grateful the Governor has allocated funding for this statewide issue.”
“The key to sustaining our recovery is investing in job creation,” continued Logue. “To prolong our economic recovery and keep tax revenue flowing to the state, this budget should be making job creation a top priority. I’m disappointed that this budget calls for an increase in welfare. Instead of continuing to give government hand-outs, we should be focusing on job creation and ensuring a better-trained workforce.”
In the Governor’s budget, $26.3 billion would be going towards higher education and calls for major changes in how the system operates. According to the budget summary, instead of focusing on enrollment targets that increase costs, the University of California, California State University and community college systems must do a better job ensuring that students complete their degrees in a timely manner. This falls in line with Logue’s college tuition legislation, which partners with UC’s, CSU’s and community colleges to offer $10,000 CSU degrees and $20,000 UC degrees for certain majors.
“I am extremely supportive of the education funding in this budget,” said Logue. “There is a definite link between a strong economy and a highly-educated workforce. I am glad the Governor and I see eye-to-eye on this issue. This budget is the first step in ensuring success for the state, but we still have months of negotiating ahead of us. We need to work together to make sure we pass a budget that will not put us back into a multi-billion dollar deficit.”