State budget continues to increase school funding | Tim Talk | Tim Hunt | |

Local Blogs

By Tim Hunt

State budget continues to increase school funding

Uploaded: May 25, 2017

Gov. Brown continues to prioritize k-12 schools and the community colleges in his revised budget.
The result for the Pleasanton school district is likely to be about $150,000 more revenue in the next fiscal year than anticipated in January when the governor released his first budget. The total budget proposes spending $180 billion, while the state’s General Fund is anticipated to receive $115,600 billion in revenue. That’s slightly more than the January proposal, despite April tax revenues being below budget targets.
Funding for k-12 schools and community colleges has increased 58 percent since the low point in 2011-12.
In contrast to the schools, the governor put a hammer on the table with the University of California system, planning to withhold $50 million until the system complies with recommendations from the State Auditor’s office, which issued a report ripping the UC Office of the President.
The governor continues to caution about how long the current eight-year expansion can continue. It’s already run far longer than the typical post-recession expansion, but has been anemic at 2 percent growth or less in much of the country and in the interior counties of California. It has been robust in the Bay Area.
The Legislature now will work with the governor’s office to pass a final budget by June 15 to avoid having its pay checks docked.
Once the budget is passed, then the Legislature can turn its attention to the pending bills.
Among them is the truly incredible (or insane) state-run single-payer universal health care plan for all residents—legal and illegal. It’s mind bogglingly expensive.
Democrat Sen. Richard Lara’s plan to cover everyone would cost $400 billion—in other words, more than double next year’s expenditures of $180 billion.
To pay for it, he proposes a 15 percent payroll tax on top of the more than 6 percent that employers already pay on their gross payroll. Talk about a job killer and an invitation to leave the state.
Vermont tried a single-player plan and could not make it work in a tiny state with a relatively homogeneous population.
Here in California, with more than 38,700 million residents, it’s far more complex.
And tell me, just what state program is operated efficiently? Remember, it’s operated by bureaucrats and politicians that are too often captive to special interests such as public employee unions. The state’s retirement system is a train wreck financially. Managers have reduced the anticipated rate of return, which requires cities and counties to increase their contributions. Those steadily increasing costs likely will require reductions in services to maintain balanced budgets.
The shortfall is almost 40 percent and was magnified when benefits were increased in the early 2000s and, because it appeared well-funded, cities started picking up the employees’ share of the contributions. Short term thinking with long term money.
Likely more of the same with the ill-advised single-payer plan.