Response to May Budget Revision

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"If managing the budget is 'like riding a tiger,' looking out ahead ten years from now is like standing on the deck of the sinking Titanic."

After passionately opposing the Democratic majority’s largest transportation tax increase in the state’s history and watching our personal income tax revenues sputter this year, I am not confident that Californians are going to be happy with the majority of the increased spending proposals that continue to cascade out of the State Capitol.

Just yesterday, State Controller Betty Yee issued a release saying "we may be inching toward an economic downturn, and we must tailor our spending accordingly." And yet, Democrats continue to advocate for single-payer health care, an expanded cap and trade system that will hike energy and food prices, and more resources for those that refuse to obey our immigration laws.

The Governor is warning about future cuts, but not setting aside additional funds now to address a potential economic downturn.

California's unrestricted net deficit, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, remains at $169 billion. That's $4,374 per person. This marks almost no improvement from the previous year. And that doesn’t consider all of our other unfunded liabilities which easily bring the state’s debt to a quarter trillion dollars! The University of California has an unrestricted net deficit that has grown to more than $11 billion, and the California State University system is upside down by $3 billion!

When will Sacramento stop the hemorrhaging? When will the elected leaders in California acknowledge that this state needs reform?

The time has come for state leaders to establish a 10-year financial workout plan to get our fiscal house in order — one that establishes a common set of goals and a framework by which all legislative and executive actions can be measured. Only then can we truly leverage our state's resources to solve both our short and long-term fiscal problems.

I appreciate the Governor’s recommendation to prepay CalPERS by $6 billion. This is done by borrowing funds that are earning less than 7.5%. My bill, SB 671, encourages this technique, and I am excited that the Governor has proposed a technique for the State that has saved the County of Orange some $100 million over the last eleven years.

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