Photo 1: Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller [Hi-Res]
Photo 2: Senator Jim Nielsen, Vice Chair of the Budget & Fiscal Committee [Hi-Res]
Photo Courtesy: Senate Republican Caucus
(Editors/Producers: Please scroll below to get links to TV & radio interviews and videos.)
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Brown released his updated 2016-17 budget proposals, also known as the May Revision. Senate Republicans continue to emphasize the need for a responsible budget.
Here is reaction from Senate Republicans:
“Californians are counting on the Governor’s call for fiscal restraint to be more than a sound bite. Responsible budgeting that focuses on improving government effectiveness should be the clear choice for California. Senate Republicans are committed to a responsible budget, which means saving more for a rainy day, making California affordable, and fixing broken programs,” said Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).
“We have more revenue now, but we may not sustain this amount in the future, which is why the Governor has wisely chosen to set aside money in the state’s Rainy Day Fund,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), Vice Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Committee.
“The Governor’s call for preparing for the ‘days of necessity’ in the face of falling tax revenues is undermined by the fact that he and legislative Democrats have made new major spending commitments. Until Sacramento’s priorities change, we will see more of the same – more spending, more taxes and more government,” said Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel).
“Governor Brown was spot-on in recognizing there is a finite pot of money and a healthy reserve is needed to weather the next recession. Spending is about priorities. It doesn’t appear our roads and bridges are any more of a priority than they have been for 40 years – which is a huge disappointment,” said Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte).
“I am glad that the Governor remains committed to fiscal austerity, especially in light of revenues that are nearly $2 billion less than expected. We must continue to bolster our reserves, while rebuilding our transportation system and strengthening education. We have to use any new funds to invest in California and prepare for our next economic downturn. This May Revise shows that we could soon find ourselves facing deficits when the economy inevitably slows again,” said Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres).
"I think every time the Governor talks about the budget he should start with an apology to the people for supporting the money pit that is the High Speed Rail. He's proposed the largest ever state spending plan and still wants to raise taxes on transportation. My constituents need tax relief, not more government spending that will be taken right out of their pockets,” said Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado).
“With revenues now projected to be $2 billion lower than the January Budget forecast, the May Revise provides a sobering reminder that revenues can drop just as quickly as they grow. Still, we are in very good financial shape and if we budget responsibly, build our state “rainy day reserve” fund, and focus on reducing the over $200 billion in budgetary debt and unfunded liabilities we will be able to handle any economic downturn that comes our way. However, I am concerned about demands by members of the majority party for more than $3 billion of new spending on top of the Governor’s record high spending level of $123 billion. This level of state spending is unsustainable and will guarantee that California returns to an era of budget cuts and tax increases,” said Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas).
“I support the Governor's plan to maintain spending discipline by limiting new programs and increasing the budget reserve. Before the legislature creates new government programs, it should fix the problems that currently exist. Medi-Cal provider rates must be raised to increase consumer access to health care, and the State must ensure existing transportation funds are used to repair California's infrastructure,” said Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).
“I applaud the governor’s call for fiscal restraint and call on my Senate colleagues to continue to build California’s Rainy Day Reserve Fund and not to propose costly programs that spend tax payer money we do not and will not have,” said Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside).
“Governor Brown’s revised 2016-2017 State Budget proposal includes half a billion taxpayer dollars to fund the controversial High-Speed Rail project. At a time when the governor is warning us about economic recessions and billion dollar budget deficits, it's a shame so much money is being wasted on something that in a few years will be known as the Jerry Brown-Jim Costa bike trail,” said Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford).
"When will California acknowledge it needs reform? The time has come for state leaders to establish a 10-year financial workout plan to get our fiscal house in order. This should be the legacy Governor Brown desires to leave, not the current burden of debt weighing down our state. I'm ready to work together with my colleagues in the legislature to change the script and leave a better future for our children." –Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)