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.