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California Budget Surges to Record High

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A robust economic recovery and surging revenue propelled by voter-approved tax increases has sent California's general fund spending to a record high, but Gov. Jerry Brown is pledging a somber approach to the windfall.
 
In introducing his budget proposal Thursday, the Democratic governor said beginning to pay down California's massive "wall of debt" must be a priority.
 
His budget proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year dedicates $11 billion to paying down debts and liabilities, including $6 billion in payments that had been deferred to schools.
 
He also sets aside $1.6 billion for a rainy day fund to protect against future downturns, saying "wisdom and prudence should be the order of the day."
 
The record $106.8 billion general fund exceeds the spending level of just before the recession by more than $3 billion and is a nearly 9% increase over spending in the current fiscal year. (AP)

Statement from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal

The Governor has once again kept his promise to be straight with the people of California and released a sensible, balanced and socially progressive budget.
 
This budget rightfully respects the increased revenues granted by the people of California from Prop 30 and prudently pays down the state's debt, sets money aside in the rainy day fund, increases funding for schools, colleges and universities, expands healthcare coverage for millions and strengthens law enforcement.
 
I want to especially thank the Governor for his continued commitment to funding our colleges and universities. The governor's proposal keeps his promise to increase General Fund allocations for the universities by at lease five percent and proposes moving from enrollment based formulas for funding the systems, to more outcome-based metrics based on affordability, timely completion rates and program quality.
 
This new way of funding higher education and the Governor's proposal to include $50 million for awards to promote "Innovative Models of Higher Education" in the three systems builds on the policy statement and call to action I released in November 2013 – Boosting California's Postsecondary Education Performance.
 
I applaud the Governor's creativity and willingness to support innovation that can increase the number of Californians receiving bachelor degrees, allows students to complete those degrees in less time and eases transfers between the systems.

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