California lawmakers plan to approve a budget Monday which is not supported by Governor Jerry Brown since it contains $749 million more in discretionary state spending than Brown has agreed with.
Lawmakers are confident that the state would continue to see economic growth in the next years, so they are not concerned that more discretionary spending would burden the budget.
All in all, the extra sum that the state would burn would reach $1.2 billion in the coming years because some of the expenditures would be phased in over time.
For instance, disabled residents would see a rise in payments of $66 million. But because the raise is set to occur halfway through the year, the final sum would top $132 million each year.
Also, an extra $40 million would be spent on granting access to public healthcare to immigrant children that live illegally in the state, but the sum is set to be triple by the end of the year.
An extra $127 million more would be invested in child care, while about $45 million would be used to increase dental benefits to Californians enrolled in public health care (but at the end of the year that sum would probably be double.)
“You’re putting the camel’s nose into the tent here. And we know the rest of the camel is coming in,”
noted Mike Genest, former Gov. Schwarzenegger’s finance director.
The Democratic majority argued that the proposed spending would help needy residents and rejected GOP’s concerns that the new budget would turn out to be unsustainable. Democrats said that there were reserves in case of disaster.
The new budget is set to take effect July 1, but the negotiations between California governor and lawmakers would continue until midnight.
Though Democrats are optimistic about California future economic prospects, Governor Brown in cautious. He believes that building a budget only on revenue estimates is not the soundest thing to do.
California is well-known for its unpredictability. Additionally, the state’s budget is already burdened by the hundreds of billions of dollars the state must pump into retirement benefits and infrastructure maintenance, the governor added.
Gov. Brown also said that spending today would open the door to “massive cuts” tomorrow. He was set to negotiate a sustainable, stable, and carefully planned budget since last month.
Some economists support Governor Brown’s line of thought since they believe that more spending would lead to a “more precarious” state budget, while others think the other way around. The latter believe that there is enough money to make the investments.
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