from the California Capitol Hill Report of the California Institute for Federal Policy Research/by email
15 Jan 2015 :: The California Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released the "2015-2016 Overview of the Governor's Budget" on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. The budget package proposes $158.8 billion of spending, $113.2 billion from the General Fund and $45.5 billion from Special Funds. The Administration projects to end 2015-2016 with $3.4 billion in total reserves, including $2.8 billion in the Budget Stabilization Account and $532 million in the state's traditional budget reserve. The Governor's budget plans to pay down state debt, invest in education, navigate federal uncertainty in health and human services, and allocate resources for environmental protection.
As proposed, the plan would pay down the remaining $992 million in school and community college deferrals, provide an additional $4 billion for K-12 Local Control Funding, and increase base funding by $119 million for the California State University and the University of California. K-12 Proposition 98 funding would increase $640, or 7.2 percent, per pupil.
The Health and Human Services aspect of the budget is subject to uncertainty due to recent federal actions, such as new labor regulations for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Department of Developmental Services (DDS) workers and the Executive Actions on Immigration, which could newly qualify some undocumented immigrants for state Health and Human Services Agency (HHS) programs like Medi-Cal. The budget proposes 2015-16 Medi-Cal spending of $18.6 billion from the General Fund, a 4.3 % increase over revised 2014-15 spending, and assumes a Medi-Cal caseload of $12.2 million.
In terms of environmental protection, the budget would allocate $532.5 million of the Proposition 1 water bond passed by the voters in 2014, assume $1 billion of cap-and-trade auction revenues, and spend $115 million ($93.5 million General Fund) for drought response.
The state's retiree health liability is the largest remaining unaddressed liability. The governor proposes to address the issue through bargaining.
For the complete LAO report, please visit: http://lao.ca.gov/reports/2015/budget/overview/budget-overview-2015.pdf