The largest budget in California history contains none of Gov. Jerry Brown’s promised cuts—but it’s chock full of nasty surprises for taxpayers—including increases in taxes, more money for legal defense of illegal aliens, and expands gun control.
This budget is a far cry from the priorities Gov. Jerry Brown laid out back in January. When the economy was still struggling, and revenues were skittish, Brown promised cuts to increases in education, subsidized childcare and planned to “phase out a middle-class college scholarship program,” according to a Capitol Radio story.
But that’s not even close to the whole story.
An ABC News/AP Story explains why there are two different budget numbers floating around in press reports:
“The one-year budget takes effect July 1. The $125 billion figure reflects spending from the general fund — the money over which lawmakers have the most control. Including bonds and special funds, the budget is $183 billion.”
When you take into account the entire budget at just under $200 billion—included are the projected revenues from the cigarette, marijuana and gas taxes recently passed—it’s easy to see how so many individual spending items fly under the radar.
Nasty Surprises in California’s $183B budget plan
- Expands Gun Control
- Higher Taxes on cigarettes, and gasoline
- $118M Startup Cash for Marijuana Industry Tax Collection dept.
- $50M in funding to Planned Parenthood (to offset any federal cuts per LA Times)
- Prevents any new Federal Immigration Detention contracts with local governments (squash deportations)
- Expands the Low-Income Tax Credits to those too poor to pay state income tax
- $50M in Additional Aid for illegal alien legal protection
- Diverts cigarette tax money to cover MediCal deficit and fully fund medical and dental for welfare recipients
- Borrows $6B from a state fund to restore CalPERS fund
- Increases subsidies for childcare by $15.5M for poor
- Language that keeps Oroville Dam Repair Plan Secret
- Resets clock in recall elections to prevent Josh Newman recall and protect SuperMajority
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, “[g]un rights advocates are fuming over some language buried in [the] state budget bill that would expand the number of Californians who can’t get guns.
Current law prohibits the possession of firearms by those convicted of a felony, but the new legislation would extend that to those with outstanding warrants for a felony or certain misdemeanors.”
North Bay Business Journal reports that the budget includes “$118 million to pay for startup costs for the newly regulated [marijuana] industry, including technology and staff to work on regulations and issue licenses. The state will open a tax office in the remote region north of San Francisco so marijuana businesses can pay their taxes in cash without having to drive long distances with thousands of dollars.” Under new regulations, it will now be legal in California to sell marijuana at state fairs and for home delivery. The reason the industry must deal in cash? Banks are federally regulated—and marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
The irony is that Democrat leaders have a very different take on the budget accord than ordinary Californians—if growing opposition to the gas tax is any sign.
Less than $3 billion will go to infrastructure ($2.8 billion for mostly local roads and transit projects) and barely $111 million of the $7 Billion water bond passed under Prop 1—and 2 years after the passage, this money will only be spent to assess and evaluate safety of, not build, any actual dams.
To add insult to injury, the Los Angeles Times reports that “[o]n the legislation’s second-to-last page, it says the required emergency action plans would be kept confidential to ‘protect public safety.’’
Republican James Gallagher, the assemblyman who represents Yuba City where the Oroville Dam is located, took exception to the proposed secrecy.
“So there’s clearly problems with the emergency action plan at the dam that we need to improve and change,” Gallagher reportedly said, “But they’re going shield it from public review and criticism.”
“Brown, a Democrat, has called the budget ‘balanced and progressive,’ [according to an ABC New report,] Legislative Democrats said it would help alleviate poverty while building up savings for a future economic downturn.
‘This is a budget that does things for people, not to people,’ Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon [reportedly said]. ‘With this budget, we keep our promises to students, patients, and voters… In this budget, we will protect what we have gained and we will persist in moving forward.’”
The $45 million in increased funding to expand legal services for illegal aliens over Brown’s original $30-million budget request is sure to rile up Californians now being forced to pay more in gas taxes just to maintain crumbling roads. Democrats are making good on their promises to do everything in their power to keep illegal aliens—including criminal aliens—from being deported by the Trump administration.
And California voters are not likely to forget their priorities come election time.
“Today’s vote confirms our responsibility to protect the due process rights of people living within our borders which is fundamental to our democracy,” Hueso, chair of the Latino Caucus, said in a statement picked up by the Los Angeles Times.