State to Face the Music

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After many weeks of examining the budget crisis facing California, Governor Jerry Brown announced his plan to help balance the budget by explaining that where the money goes is where the money has to be cut.

 The budget plan will be cutting, extending the taxes and restructuring.

“We’re going to have to live in a more conservative fashion,” Governor Brown said.

He called for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, including reductions in welfare, social services, health care for the poor and a combined $1 billion cut to the University of California and California State University systems.

Brown also wants the Legislature to call a special election in June to give voters an opportunity to continue hikes in the income, sales and vehicle taxes for five years. His proposal relies on new revenues of $12 billion.

The governor's office said the only area of state spending he would protect is K-12 education.

Brown said his recommendations would close an 18-month budget gap estimated at $25.4 billion and require sacrifice from all Californians.

“It’s going to be objected to but there will be even more people saying ‘Thank God, we’re finally facing the music,’” he said.

The governor's proposal to extend taxes is a politically risky move after Californians rejected an extension of the taxes just two years ago as part of a package of ballot measures.

Brown's proposal also assumes the state Legislature would pass a spending plan by March -- a date unheard of in recent legislative budget debates that have dragged on into the fall.

Brown also wants a $1 billion rainy day fund.

Brown is proposing an $84.6 billion general fund budget, slightly less than the $86.5 billion adopted under former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last budget.


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