Governor vetoes Democratic budget plan

Less than a day after state Democratic legislators passed a budget that included an additional $150 million in cuts to the University of California, Gov. Jerry Brown issued the first veto of a state budget in California’s history.

Brown announced in a statement Thursday morning that the plan passed by the Legislature, which aimed to close the state’s remaining $9.6 billion deficit, was not balanced and did not address the state’s long-term financial crisis.

Among the provisions laid out in the plan was an additional $150 million cut to both the UC and California State University systems, as well as the delayed payment of $540 million in UC bills until the next fiscal year.

UC President Mark Yudof has said that the university could absorb the current $500 million cut it faces without raising tuition but that any additional cuts would likely mean fee hikes throughout the system.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said in a statement that the campus’s share of the $500 million cut that has already been signed into law is about $70 million. Furthermore, the campus has additional mandatory increased costs such as utilities and health care benefits of about $40 million, bringing the total cut the campus faces to roughly $110 million for 2011-12.

“We cannot sustain any further cuts without placing an intolerable burden on our students and staff,” Birgeneau said in the statement. “Not only would this be very painful for our campus, it would ultimately be damaging to the economy and future prospects of California.”

The plan also included a combination of tax and fee increases, made further spending cuts and proposed raising certain fees, such as car registration fees and local sales tax rates.

“It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars of new debt. It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings,” Brown said in the statement. “Finally, it is not financeable and therefore will not allow us to meet our obligations as they occur.”

Brown attributed the lack of a balanced budget to Republican unwillingness to pass a budget that incorporated extending some state taxes that would be subject to voter approval, which he originally proposed in January.

The proposed tax extensions could raise an estimated $14 billion in revenue for the state by extending for five years increases in income taxes, sales taxes and vehicle license fees originally enacted in February 2009, according to a state Legislative Analyst’s Office report.

“We can — and must — do better. A balanced budget is critical to our economic recovery,” Brown said in the statement. “I am, once again, calling on Republicans to allow the people of California to vote on tax extensions for a balanced budget and significant reforms … If they continue to obstruct a vote, we will be forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts to schools and public safety — a tragedy for which Republicans will bear full responsibility.”

It still remains unclear as to whether state legislators will have their pay docked as a result of Brown’s veto. Under Proposition 25, which was approved by voters in the fall, state legislators are required to forfeit their pay for every day they fail to pass a balanced budget.

It is now up to State Controller John Chiang to determine whether the Legislature met the guidelines set forth in Proposition 25 — that the budget bills enacted show that expected revenues will equal or exceed planned expenditures. Chiang said in a statement that the proposition only references the Legislature’s passage of a budget and is not affected by Brown’s signature or veto.

“I will move quickly to complete our analysis of whether the budget bills passed Wednesday meet the constitutional definition, or fall short, which would require my office to forfeit their pay under Proposition 25,” Chiang said in the statement. “We are awaiting the final budget bill language before we begin our examination.”

Allie Bidwell is the news editor.

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • Anonymous

    No cut in funding however wage concessions for Chancellors and Faculty at University of California Berkeley,

    University
    of California faces
    massive budget shortfalls. It is dismaying Calif. Governor Brown. President
    Yudof and Board of Regents have, once again, been unable to agree on a package
    of wage, benefit concessions to close the deficit. 

    Californians face foreclosure, unemployment, depressed
    wages, loss of retirement, medical, unemployment benefits, higher taxes: UC
    Board of Regents Regent Lansing, President Yudof need to demonstrated
    leadership by curbing wages, benefits. As a Californian, I don’t care what
    others earn at private, public universities. If wages better elsewhere,
    chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP should apply
    for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC, leave for better paying position.
    The sky above UC will not fall.  

    Californians suffer from greatest deficit of modern times. UC
    wages must reflect California’s
    ability to pay, not what others are paid. Campus chancellors, tenured &
    non-tenured faculty, UCOP are replaceable by more talented academics

    UC faculty, chancellor, vice chancellor, UCOP wage concessions:

    No furloughs   

    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50
    million cut.

    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.

    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load

    10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research,
    teaching load

    100%
    elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

     

    Overly
    optimistic predictions of future revenues do not solve the deficit.  However, rose bushes bloom after pruning.

     

    UC Board of Regents Sherry Lansing, President Yudof can bridge
    the public trust gap by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflect depressed
    wages in California.
    The sky will not fall on UC

     

    Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until
    an approved balanced budget: let the Governor/Legislature lead – make the
    tough-minded (not cold hearted) decisions of elected leadership. Afterwards
    come to public for continuing, specified
    taxes.

     

    Once
    again, we call upon UC Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Faculty, UCOP to stand up
    for California
    and ‘pitch in’ for Californians.

     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MYE33I4TTQKWXST7YHLXWAM57Y Captain Morgan

    Jerry Brown demands that the Republicans capitulate on tax increases, but he refuses to stand up to the public employee unions and renegotiate their pensions. 

    What a clown.
     

    • Matthew Weber

      It takes two to negotiate.   It would be very difficult to force negotiations on public employee unions.  I suspect that what you mean by “renegotiate” is something closer to “unilaterally compel,” which would be illegal–not that such a distinction has ever mattered to the likes of you.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MYE33I4TTQKWXST7YHLXWAM57Y Captain Morgan

         Yes, it is very difficult, because the public employee unions don’t give a **** about the state.  They are happy to drive California to bankruptcy, to destroy the school system, to shred police and fire service, as long as they get their $$$ and pensions.

        • Matthew Weber

          Stop moving the goalposts.  Is this about Brown’s reluctance to try an illegal move which would, in any case fail?  Or is it about your unreasoning hostility toward organized labor?

          Should I even try pointing out that pensions come from a fund earmarked for that use?  Should I even suggest that the state has already raided that fund, and that if at this point pensions are going to cost the state anything, it’s because the state has to pay that money back?  Perhaps not, because your mind is made up, and facts don’t matter anyway.

  • Anonymous

    “We can – and must – do better. A balanced budget is critical to our economic recovery,” Brown said in the statement. “I am, once again, calling on Republicans to allow the people of California to vote on tax extensions for a balanced budget and significant reforms. They should also join Democrats in supporting job creation and ending tax breaks for out-of-state companies. If they continue to obstruct a vote, we will be forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts to schools and public safety – a tragedy for which Republicans will bear full responsibility.”

    Moonbeam is a clown. You can balance the budget without cutting schools and
    Public safety. Many other options. Like most Libtards he just wants to scare the voters.