California Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised general fund budget proposal released Tuesday cuts general fund spending by $1.3 billion from his January proposal amid lower revenue forecasts.
The governor’s new budget should help somewhat temper potential spending by some lawmakers champing at the bit after state revenues through April came in around $4.5 billion higher than projected.
“Everybody wants to see more spending. That is what this place is: a big spending machine,” Brown said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the revise. “I am the backstop.”
The governor’s new general fund spending plan of $96.4 billion for fiscal 2014 is a 1.3% drop from his $97.7 billion proposal in January. State general fund expenditures would still be 3.6% higher than last year’s $93 billion budget.
Brown released his initial budget in January, which put the state in the unusual position of working with a balanced budget after years of severe budget gaps.
The lower revenue forecast for the next fiscal year is due mainly to recent actions by the Federal government, including eliminating the 2% payroll tax reduction and the impact of the so-called “sequestration” — across the board U.S. government cuts — on state workers, according to the governor.
Brown’s spending plan projects revenue in the current fiscal year ending June 30 to increase only $2.8 billion compared to his January budget proposal, and to decline $1.8 billion in fiscal 2014 from those January projections. Because of a voter proposition that forces the state to spend a certain amount of its tax take on education, new revenue is largely slated for schools and universities in the new proposal.
The spending plan also includes a $1.1 billion reserve.