Senate Republicans: Californians Deserve Better than this Budget

Senate Bill 826 Sets the Golden State on an Unsustainable Path
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Today, the California State Legislature voted on Senate Bill 826 (D-Leno), the Budget Act of 2016. SB 826 will spend a record $122.5 billion dollars out of the General Fund, which is an increase of nearly $7 billion dollars from the previous year. Senate Republicans believe the Golden State deserves better than this risky, record spending budget that fails to meet the priorities of Californians.

Here are statements from Senate Republicans:

“Californians deserve a responsible and sustainable state spending plan. Unfortunately, this record spending budget paves the way for future deficits and increases fees that make living in California even more expensive,” said Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).

 “This budget is a steadfast attempt at fiscal restraint but not worthy of a yes vote. It is still the largest budget in the history of California; it does little to change how government does business. I compliment my colleagues and the Governor for their earnest effort but this budget does not go far enough to plan for a looming recession,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), Vice Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review.

“I don’t like the $10 vehicle license fee increase to every car that will generate $330 million a year for DMV, of which $70–80 million will continue to be transferred to the General Fund instead of our roads. There are significant changes to regulations and laws that will affect our daily lives including our water rights. These changes include special treatment for marijuana growers slipped into this budget, without public debate or transparency.”

“California’s next budget will spend a total of $122.5 billion in its General Fund, which is $6.9 billion more than last year. Yet, our state’s roads and bridges continue to be underfunded. Governor Brown insists on a gas tax increase to fund our roads, even though his budget spends an additional $930 million on high-speed rail and expands government in other areas. It is a reminder that our state has a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” said Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel).

“My role as a representative for the Central Valley is to advocate for the needs of our communities,” said Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres). “The budget we voted on today, although far from perfect, will fund programs to fight crime and address water issues in my district. In addition, it bolsters our rainy day fund and increases funding for education. I am disappointed that this year’s budget did not address our transportation shortfalls. I will continue to make this my top priority and expect that we will be able to find a solution to fix our unmet needs this year.”

“The Governor has repeatedly warned that another recession is headed our way. Instead of heeding that warning, we are increasing spending by billions to pay for things like the absurd High Speed Rail project, a minimum wage increase and state government office building makeovers,” said Senate Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado). “This spending spree and expansion of government will only grow in future years, creating significant pressure and justification to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases. We already live in one of the most expensive states with some of the highest taxes and worst business climates. When is enough, enough?”

“As with most budgets, there are some things to like and issues I don’t agree with. I’m pleased that this budget includes a $2 billion investment into our ’Rainy Day’ budget reserve, raising the balance in the fund to $6.7 billion. However, I am concerned with the level of spending in this budget, and it’s just one reason why it has not earned my support. It embraces a new record high spending level of $122.5 billion, which is $7 billion more than last year’s budget. This puts us back on a path to fiscal crisis in California because we cannot sustain this level of spending,” said Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas).

"The Legislature voted to enact another record-setting budget. Unfortunately, transportation priorities are being neglected and the budget does not position the state for forecasted cost increases in salaries and pension contributions. With an Unrestricted Net Deficit of $170 billion, California must stop mortgaging its future and prepare for the next economic recession by paying down debt and putting even more money away in the rainy day fund,” said Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa).

“The Governor and legislative Democrats have crafted the largest budget in the 166-year history of our state. By growing government at a record pace, this budget risks the financial future of California at the expense of taxpayers and continues to leave a wall of debt to younger generations,” said Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

“I am pleased the 2016 Budget prioritizes funding for child care to assist families facing the pressures of accessing quality child care. However, I could not support this budget today as it adds nearly $500 million in fees on California families that already struggle to make ends meet. It fails to restore reimbursement rates to Denti-Cal providers, and reduces reimbursement rates to pharmacists by $327 million which makes access a continued problem for Medi-Cal members,” said Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove). “I also could not support the reduction in the California Earned Income Tax Credit by $100 million and the budget’s failure to repay transportation loan debt, which would help fund much needed transportation projects across the state.”

“While I applaud the fact that this budget adds an additional $2 billion to our Rainy Day Fund, I am disappointed it includes record-high spending and relies on raising fees, like the 23% increase in the Vehicle License Fee,” said Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley).  “We should look for ways to cut bureaucracy and spend our existing funds efficiently before reaching into the pockets of already overburdened taxpayers.”

“This budget paves the way for future deficits, pays for new office buildings for State workers in Sacramento while roads and bridges across the State deteriorate, and hikes fees on people who already dig deeper in their pockets than most Americans to pay their taxes,” said Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County). “It’s hard to believe that the lessons of the great recession of just a few years ago have already been forgotten here in Sacramento.”

For press inquiries or questions, please contact Jacqui Nguyen, press secretary for the Senate Republican Caucus at (916) 651-4016.