SACRAMENTO – Today, the Governor released his 2017-18 budget proposals. Senate Republicans have provided responses to his announcement.
Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield): “Senate Republicans will continue to be laser-focused on championing solutions that promote jobs and make California more affordable. Californians expect their government to spend responsibly, and we are facing a deficit of $2 billion if we don’t live within our means.
“Our state also cannot lose sight of the significant role the federal government plays in our budget and the lives of all Californians. The federal government contributes nearly $60 billion to our healthcare system. As state leaders, we should be there to improve our healthcare system. I will work with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the new administration to ensure California gets what California deserves.”
Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), Vice Chair, Budget and Fiscal Review Committee: “The Rainy Day fund must be maintained for emergencies, not ongoing spending. I agree with the Governor’s budget approach that ensures we are prepared for the expected economic downturn. The governor has, along with the Republicans, opted to hold the line on our spending. We cannot be getting loose with the purse in California. This budget, however, continues to ignore our long term infrastructure priorities like more water storage and repairing our dilapidated roadways. The time has come to abandon ill-conceived, costly ideas like high-speed rail and the twin tunnels. The people of California deserve more fiscal responsibility from their leaders. Republicans have offered many fiscally responsible proposals to address these critical infrastructure needs. I urge my Democratic colleagues to act prudently as we navigate this year's budget process. What will our economy be doing? And how do we bring in revenues? We’ve got to examine the regulatory and the economic deterrents for businesses in California. And much of what has happened here has discouraged our business growth.”
“Given national economic conditions and pending policy changes in Washington, D.C., it’s prudent that the budget has embraced a relatively cautious approach. The state must be extra vigilant in its spending, and California would be better served if our state’s leadership seeks cooperation instead of confrontation with the new federal administration,” said Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel).
“Worrying about problems that have yet to happen is one way to deflect attention from the problems we continue to ignore. My priorities remain the same: fixing our transportation infrastructure; improving the economy in all of California - not just the coastal regions; helping rural communities deal with the tree mortality crisis; keeping college affordable for California residents; and making prudent spending decisions. All the hand-wringing in the world about changes in Washington, DC won’t hide the fact that Sacramento has yet to make good on its current promises to the voters,” said Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto).
“I am encouraged that Governor Brown’s budget reflects the need for cutting red tape and spending prudence given our debt situation. I am also pleased that the governor has made fixing our transportation system a top priority this year. Key to recovery in the Central Valley is creating jobs, and moving people to jobs and products to market are important steps,” said Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres). “I hope that as we move forward through the budget process we focus on our water availability problems and fixing some core programs, like Denti-Cal.”
“Gushing rivers are flowing into the ocean right now because we haven’t built enough water storage to capture them. Our roads are disintegrating even though we had billions in surplus state revenue just last year. This is clear evidence that California needs to get its spending priorities straight,” said Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado). “Instead we are squandering money on the ridiculous high speed rail and paying for sex changes for prisoners. Governor Brown should honor hardworking taxpayers by crafting a budget that pays down debt, protects the public and provides the people with the infrastructure they are already paying for.”
“While the state has seen record budgets in recent years, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for working Californians. Their hard-earned money does not go as far as it should, and with legislative Democrats proposing higher taxes to pay for more bureaucracy, it will mean even less that families can invest in their futures. Given these budget trends, the governor should hold the line on any tax or fee increases,” said Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga).
“While Governor Brown’s Budget Proposal for 2017-18 expressed concern about deficit spending, I respectfully disagree with the priorities set forth in the proposed budget. In my opinion, in light of the Governor’s forecast that revenues are slowing, we should demonstrate fiscal responsibility by more aggressively building our rainy day fund, paying down the more than $240 billion in debt and sustaining programs that are important to Californians; among them education and healthcare,” said Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).
“I am confident the governor and my fellow legislators can act in a bipartisan and professional manner to preserve federal funding for vital and essential programs, but the governor was wise in his admonition that the state cannot continue to spend as freely as it has over the past eight years. We can no longer assume we have access to the federal credit card to pay for things we can’t afford,” said Senator Jeff Stone (R-Temecula).
“Compared to Democrat legislative leaders, it’s good to see the governor took an overall prudent approach with the People’s money. It is terribly irresponsible, however, for the governor to continue to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on his pet High-Speed Rail project, instead of fixing our dilapidated roads and highways and building much-needed water storage. The governor and legislative leaders need to be reminded that while coastal elites may be enjoying a rebounding economy, folks throughout inland California continue to struggle with some of the nation’s highest poverty and unemployment rates. Farmworkers, farmers, small business owners and hard-working families are fighting to survive because of radical environmental policies and regulations that threaten to destroy our rural way of life. It would have been nice to see something in the proposed State Budget specifically aimed to save and create jobs where they are most needed, instead of tilted towards the coast,” said Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford).
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to rework much of the governor’s proposed spending to more moderate and equitable levels. We must capitalize on our increased revenue to fix our roads, solve our water crisis, maximize education funding and prepare ourselves for the inevitable economic downturn by paying our debts and limiting long-term funding commitments,” said Senator Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley).
For press inquiries or questions, please contact Jacqui Nguyen, press secretary for the Senate Republican Caucus at (858) 999-7706.