SACRAMENTO – Members of Senate Republican Caucus respond to Governor Brown’s revised 2017-18 state budget.
Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel):
“After giving Californians a lemon of a gas and car tax hike, Sacramento Democrats seem intent on giving them a lemon of a budget. The revised budget takes money from tax increases for programs like education and health care and transfers it to the General Fund for other purposes. Such moves underscore why raising taxes without reform is folly.”
“Despite talk of fiscal restraint and budget deficits, the revised budget would still result in a spending increase of $1.7 billion. Over the past six years, spending has gone up by $38 billion and questionable priorities such as high-speed rail continue to be funded. Now is not the time for the Legislature to create new spending we cannot afford. Republicans will continue to cast a spotlight on the budget process as a final deal is hammered out in the weeks ahead.”
Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), Vice Chair of the Budget & Fiscal Review Committee:
“After decades of neglect, Oroville Dam, the state’s levees and other flood control infrastructure are badly damaged and require immediate repairs to protect the lives and property of Californians.
“The Democrat majority must resist the urge to spend and instead prioritize our most vulnerable populations in anticipation of potential budget shortfalls.
“It is imperative that we invest in our state savings account – the Rainy Day Fund – for the inevitable economic downturn, as the Governor appropriately noted.”
Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres)
“I am cautiously optimistic regarding the Governor’s approach to increased spending and austerity. We have to be prepared for an inevitable economic downturn and ensure sustainability by making the rainy day fund a top priority. At the same time, Californians should expect that their tax dollars are aimed at preparing our youth for the workplace through increased funding for career technical education and fundamental programs, like Denti-Cal.“
Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield)
“Since the start of the legislative session, taxpayers have already been saddled with historic tax increases, threatened with higher tuition costs, and warned to prepare for higher home energy costs. Give taxpayers a break, spend their money efficiently, and send the governor a more effective budget that takes into account the rising cost to live and work in California.”
Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado)
“California's income tax collections were nearly $1 billion short of projections during the month of April. I know the legislature will be tempted to sink every last dollar into new and ongoing spending programs at a time when we should heed State Controller Betty Yee’s warning that we may be ‘inching towards an economic downturn’ and that we must ‘tailor our spending accordingly. Governor Brown continues to sound all the right notes about fiscal discipline and debt reduction, but has the largest ever state spending plan, out of whack spending priorities and little accountability. Overtaxed Californians need relief, not a continuation of the government’s never-ending tax and spend cycle that makes California so unaffordable.”
Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)
“The Governor is warning about future cuts, but not setting aside additional funds now to address a potential economic downturn. California's unrestricted net deficit remains at $169 billion. That's $4,374 per person, marking almost no improvement from the previous year. When will Sacramento stop the hemorrhaging? When will the elected leaders in California acknowledge that this state needs reform?”
Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove)
“Governor Brown’s budget once again misses the mark to protect middle and lower income families. Sadly, the revised budget fails to restore the Middle Class Scholarship, a financial lifeline that, in many cases, is the only state funded financial assistance middle class students can apply for. Further undermining California’s hard working families; the revised budget continues the charade by shifting Proposition 56 funds to backfill other programs. These funds, which were meant to address the shortage of dentists, prevent and treat dental diseases, and increase access to quality care are now being used in a manner unintended by the voters. It is wrong to make promises to California taxpayers only to break them.”
Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County)
“Despite having record revenues, California is sadly facing a deficit because of the inability of the Governor and the Legislative Democrats to control spending. Now that the May Revise has been proposed, I look forward to working with my colleagues to craft what I hope to be a fiscally responsible and sensible budget that protects taxpayers, puts more money in the rainy day fund and provides needed services to the people of California.”
Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford)
“Until the Governor and Democrat legislators realize how out of touch they are on issues like High Speed Rail and increased gas taxes, it’s really hard to take anything they say about the budget very seriously.”
Senator Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley)
“Budget revenues are lower than expected and the governor’s numbers reflect that fact. However, with 40 empty budget bills, the majority party can now slip pet projects, controversial spending decisions and a host of other policies into the budget without a hearing or public scrutiny. Not until June when the budget is moved to the floor, will we learn how badly behaved the political elites were with the people’s money. The best government is government that is transparent and accountable but it looks to me like backroom deals are preferred over transparency to the folks running the show in Sacramento.”