California Governor Jerry Brown is seeking more spending on schools and child care. He made that announcement during the unveiling Thursday of a revised outlook for the budget year that starts July 1.
He cited a "modestly improved fiscal outlook" since January that will allow for $1.5 billion more in spending next year. Most of that will go to K-12 education. He also is rolling back a plan to cut a half-billion dollars in child care support for low-income children.
The overall general fund spending plan is $124 billion, which Brown said "is considerably more constrained than in any year since 2012."
Brown also said he is withholding $50 million from the University of California's budget to "hold their feet to the fire."
Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK
Brown also said he is withholding $50 million from the University of California's budget to "hold their feet to the fire." He said his revised budget withholds the money until the UC system accepts changes in a recent critical state audit. Auditors found the system hid tens of millions of dollars in reserve accounts and overpaid administrators.
Brown said he wants more transparency and financial reporting from the system. He also criticized administrators' salaries as being too high.The state auditor has been particularly critical of UC President Janet Napolitano, who has disputed auditors' findings.
Auditors have said Napolitano's office altered campuses' responses that were critical of her office. But Brown defended her, saying the governing Board of Regents and others generally think she is doing a good job.
Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK
Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes said Brown's budget improperly diverts tax increases intended to fund health and dental care into general state spending.
Meantime, Republicans Thursday praised Brown's plan to pay down part of the state's pension debt in the revised budget proposal. But they also criticized other parts of the Democratic governor's plan.
Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes said Brown's budget improperly diverts tax increases intended to fund health and dental care into general state spending, and Republican State Senator Jim Nielsen of Gerber said the revised budget does not do enough to control spending.
Democrats who control the Legislature also have their disagreements.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles called the governor's new plan an improvement from his January budget proposal, while Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco said Democrats also want middle-class college scholarships, increased Medi-Cal payments to doctors and affordable housing funding.
The release of Brown's budget plan kicks off a month of negotiations with the Legislature.
Watch the full budget presentation below.