Sacramento, CA — With the presidential election coming up along with the ballot voting for the new tax hike in November and the overwhelming budget deficit, Governor Jerry Brown and his Democratic Party lawmakers have been inundated with threats and warnings on what will happen if the proposed tax hike to cut the deficit should fail come November.
A $91.3 billion state budget has been created and on the other hand $6 billion worth of cuts has been signed by the lawmakers and Governor Brown in case their initiative fails. That would mean less funding for the local police, shorter school years, and potential tuition fee increases in the California State University systems and the University of California.
The new state budget has been designed so that the people will vote for the tax initiative or else it or else the consequences will be pretty much catastrophic. These budget cuts will impact the public education system a whole lot and the public school districts are already struggling despite accounting for more than half of the state’s expenses. In the new proposed plan, the school year could be reduced from the current 175 days to 160 days (of course, there will be some happy students when they hear this). If in case this goes through, California will be 20 days behind from the national average of the 180 days school year.
This new budget plan did not also sit well with the Republican Party. State Sen. Anthony Canella, R-Ceres, questioned why the budget for education must be reduced to $5.4 billion when the state revenue for this year is higher than that of last year’s. He further added, “maybe you’ll let the kids out of school but the teachers will still be employed and in addition to that, they’ll get their full retirement for the year.
Connie Conway, Assemblyman Republican Leader has this to say, “It’s a disgrace that Democrats are playing politics with the budget to sweeten the appeal for ill-fated taxes at the ballot box.”
Despite the rabid comments of the Republicans based on the recent polls, Governor Brown’s initiative was leading with 52% in favor of the tax initiative and 35% opposing it but the scary part is that the voting is still in November and opinions might change.
Part of the initiative is to provide additional funding to the public universities provided that the tax initiative passes voting and that the schools do not increase their tuition fees. Schools like the University of California are agreeing with Governor Brown’s plan and has agreed to not pursue the 6 percent tuition increase this fall.
According to UC spokesperson Dianne Klein, ” We do think that it’s a positive step toward bringing stability to funding for the University of California but it’s going to take some extraordinary measures to balance our budget without a fee increase.” But if the initiative fails come election day, the California State University and University of California school systems will end up $250 million short of funding from the state which will then create a situation for a mid-year tuition fee hike.
California is almost in dire straits, with Stockton going belly up and being gang banged by economic problems, it is not hard to imagine that the entire state of California might as well end up filing for bankruptcy one of these days. With the new California budget, people are caught between the devil and the deep blue see in their choices. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.