Governor Brown releases January budget proposal
The plan lowers funding for this year, proposes flat funding for 2017-18
Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday released his budget proposal for 2017-18, a conservative plan that would lower funding to schools this year and provide essentially flat funding to K-12 education in 2017-18.
Governor Brown cited recent revenue declines and uncertainty about the future as rationale for lowering funding for schools by $500 million in the current year. He is also proposing little more than a cost-of-living increase in the 2017-18 budget that he presented Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a rough ride,” he said, warning of the possibility of another recession. “And we cannot tell where we will be in a few months.”
His reluctance to deplete state reserves is not “some kind of quirk, or legacy or Brownie-ism,” Governor Brown said. Because the state relies heavily on wealthy residents for its tax base, he said, revenue can swing widely from year to year as their fortunes fluctuate.
“Until you are ready to change that, which some people are, and I am perfectly willing to work with them, we must maintain a big reserve,” Brown said. Later, red pen in hand, he punctuated his point by circling the nearly $2 billion deficit on a large bar chart.
Concluded Brown: “The downturn is inevitable.”
Read more about the Governor’s plan here.