California Educator

May 2011

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Gov.’s revised budget holds line on education funding ACTION left: Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet) hears from a group of his teacher constituents, who urge him to support the tax extensions and the governor’s budget proposal, which would boost school funding by more than $3 billion. would precede a popular vote, the proposal meets with his campaign pledge: “There are no taxes without a vote of the peo- ple — this is a program with a vote of the people.” The governor’s release of the in cities around California, Gov. Jerry Brown on May 16 proposed an updated budget reversing a multibillion-dollar deferral that would have delayed funding for schools. “We are heartened by the gov- ernor’s support for public edu- cation in his May Revision,” said CTA President David A. Sanchez. “He is clearly keeping his promises and working to secure for public schools and colleges the funds that are des- perately needed to restore pro- grams and avoid more layoffs. We will continue to work to secure the four Republican votes needed to approve the temporary tax extensions upon which his May Revision depends.” State of Emergency activities F 34 California Educator | MAY 2011 ollowing a week of CTA State of Emergency activi- ties at the state Capitol and by CTA, parents, labor and stu- dents helped drive home force- fully to elected officials and the public the plight of public schools and colleges, and the devastating impact of three years of cuts — more than $20 billion — on the state’s nearly 9 million K-14 students. The governor told reporters at a Capitol news conference that his proposal would bring school funding to $52.4 bil- lion, $3 billion more than he proposed in January. The gov- ernor conceded that schools would still be receiving less than they did in 2007-08. He stated that it would take sev- eral years to restore funding to that level. In order for schools and oth- er programs to avoid further cuts, the Legislature must pass the May Revision, which in- cludes the temporary tax exten- sions. An all-cuts budget would require a suspension of Propo- sition 98 with deep reductions to schools. The governor emphasized that his revised spending plan relies on the extension of the state’s temporary taxes. He said that Republican lawmakers’ re- fusal to approve his revenue proposal would lead him to his own Plans B and C — but he re- fused to spell out what those plans would be. The governor said he has been working hard to secure the total of four Republican votes needed for his spending plan, which ratchets back some of the tax extensions he had previously proposed, including one that would have boosted personal income taxes for the coming year. The governor said that even though some tax increases May Revision typically marks the start of an intense period of fiscal negotiations with the Leg- islature. Generally, the state Senate and the Assembly sepa- rately make revisions to the governor’s proposal. Often a joint Assembly-Senate confer- ence committee is empowered to meld the two legislative spending plans into one final document. That budget is due to the governor by June 15, and he is required by the state con- stitution to sign a final version by June 30. This year’s process is likely to be more complicated, because — unlike the budget itself — the tax extensions the governor has proposed require a two-thirds supermajority in both houses. Getting that supermajority re- quires four Republican votes, and Republican leaders have been unwilling to provide any so far.

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