The governor unveiled the May Revision to the state budget earlier today. We took a quick look at the details presented and are encouraged by his proposal so far. We are pleased to see the governor’s proposal seeks to improve living conditions for all Californians. Below are a few highlights:
·Provides funding to meet the Proposition 98 guarantee for K-14 schools
We all worked hard to pass Prop. 30 during the last election in order to prevent further cuts to students and other essential services and to help put our schools back on track. The proposed $60.9 billion in funding will help to fully implement the Local Control Funding Formula as it was intended while providing school districts and colleges with much-needed funding to provide a quality education to all students.
·A 30-year, equitable plan to address the CalSTRS unfunded liability
The proposal includes a first year contribution from all three parties totaling about $450 million, but would grow thereafter to more than $5 billion annually in 2020-21. The $74.4 billion CalSTRS shortfall did not happen overnight and it cannot be addressed overnight. It is going to take time, commitment and collaboration from all stakeholders—the state, districts and educators—so we appreciate the governor’s plan to fully fund the teachers’ retirement defined benefit plan within 30 years.
·Paying down debts and liabilities
The May Revision includes an additional $100 million to pay off all remaining deferrals to schools this year. We believe it’s imperative that the state continues to pay our students back after years of drastic budget cuts and this proposal includes increased funding for our schools and colleges.
·Health care for an additional 1.4 million Californians
The governor allocated another $1.2 billion so that 1.4 million more people will be covered through Medi-Cal. Healthcare for our students and their families translates into healthy students more apt and ready to learn while in our classrooms.
·Increased money for drought response
Provides an additional $142 million ($121 million General Fund) in drought-related expenditures to reflect necessary spending on firefighting, emergency response, water management, wildlife preservation and food assistance. Addressing the critical drought in our state ensures our communities are self-sustained and functioning at their full potential so that our students and their families have stable living conditions.
Read the media statement we distributed statewide following the announcement. Take a look at the budget memo prepared by Government Relations.
State Council will have an opportunity later this month to take a closer look at the proposals within the May Revision and will likely take formal positions on key issues.
Dean E. Vogel