On Monday, Governor Brown is set to release his May revise, but Republicans have decided to jump out in front of the administration by releasing a budget plan of their own. The state still has to close a budget gap of over $15 billion, and the title of the GOP plan tells you what you need to know about their solutions: “Roadmap for a No Tax Increase Budget.” Their alternative plan relies on cuts, transfers, and revenues. According to the GOP plan, the revised budget deficit stands at $14.7 billion, and their priorities are listed as rejecting any cuts to education, no additional higher education cuts, restoring funding to county veteran’s offices, and rejecting the governor’s realignment proposal, among other factors. Of note to counties, the plan’s outline states the following about realignment:
“To date, only one realignment proposal has been passed by the Legislature-- Assembly Bill 109. Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the proposal. Fortunately, according the Governor’s own signing statement, AB 109 will not go into effect without dedicated funding. Therefore, by not funding AB 109, Republicans can effectively stop the realignment of over 40,000 felons from state incarceration into county custody.”
Overall, the plan asks for state employee costs to be reduced by 10 percent, redevelopment cuts, and health and welfare cuts. As for the fate of redevelopment, the Bee points out that “Assembly Republicans are relying on a redevelopment overhaul for $1 billion to $1.7 billion in revenues. Because of differing opinions in the caucus, the plan does not spell out whether to fully eliminate redevelopment, as Brown has proposed, or whether to take a smaller payment but keep the program intact, as the agencies have suggested.”
In response to the rare release of a GOP plan, Brown press secretary Gil Duran said the following:
“If the Republicans were serious about contributing to a budget solution, they would not have waited until a few days before the May revise. For the most part, this is just more smoke and mirrors. It's a short-term fix like the series of short term fixes that got us into this mess in the first place. And the governor's going to stay focused on a reality based approach to solving this budget crisis."
Further analysis of the plan can be seen here. Republican leaders released the following video about their plan, featuring Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway and Assemblymembers Jim Nielsen, Kristin Olsen and Don Wagner:
Asm. Republicans Discuss Budget Proposal from CA Assembly GOP on Vimeo.
You can read an outline of the GOP budget here.