CSAC Bulletin Article

Assembly Budget Chair Releases Budget Blueprint

December 14, 2017

Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) outlined key priorities for the 2018-19 State budget in his “Blueprint for a Responsible Budget” earlier this week. It provides a high-level overview of how to further bolster reserves, pay down debt, and enhance program funding in light of the LAO’s estimated $7.5 billion in unanticipated revenue for 2018-19.

Details are scant at this time but the two core themes are 1) to continue to enhance reserves by $3.2 billion in preparation for an economic downturn and actions by the federal government and 2) provide up to $4.3 billion to pay down long-term obligations and enhance health and human services, schools and criminal justice funding. Of note for counties, the Blueprint outlines a budget plan that seeks to:

  • Mitigate problems caused by federal action on health care;
  • Help local governments struggling with long-term pension obligations by incentivizing affordable housing policies and in return provide them with one-time help with pension costs;
  • Continue to pay state pension fund obligations faster than required by law (which helps overall funding status of CalPERS system, which helps limit county employer contribution increases);
  • Restore cost of living adjustments for SSI/SSP & CalWorks Grants;
  • Assist local law enforcement with efforts to reduce crime and create incentives for counties to prioritize funding for reentry support;
  • Create a framework to stabilize court funding and restore court access;
  • Fix California’s recycling program to reverse the decline of recycling in California;
  • Provide aggressive oversight of statewide climate change efforts.

The full outline is available here and the press release is available here. The Governor will release his 2018-19 Budget proposal by January 10 at which time CSAC will provide a Budget Action Bulletin with the key provisions of importance to counties.

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