Statement on Governor Brown’s 2017 - 2018 Budget

January 12, 2017

This week, Governor Brown released his Budget for 2017-18. While proposed General Fund expenditures are about the same level as the current fiscal year, the budget reflects reduced revenue and expenditures due to the Department of Finance’s estimate that state revenue for the first half of fiscal year 2016-17 is trending nearly $2 billion below last year’s projections.

The good news is the Governor’s proposal continues to support crucial safety net programs such as the earned income tax credit for low wage working families, the Legislature’s approved increase in the State’s minimum wage and extension of health care to millions of Californians, as well as robust climate and environmental protections. True to form, the Governor also proposes increases that shore up the State’s reserves and Rainy Day Fund.

Less good news is that this budget slows down the funding increases to K-12 schools and early care and education programs. As Chair of the Senate’s Budget sub-committee on public safety, I am particularly concerned with the projected growth in expenditures related to incarceration.

Hovering overall are the as yet unanswerable questions on how threats from Washington on healthcare, immigration, tax policy and the like, may impact California. The Governor chose not to alter his budget based on speculation but made it clear he is on alert and prepared to respond to protect Californians.

I, and my legislative colleagues, will be working with constituents and stakeholders throughout California to vet the Governor’s proposal and ensure that the budget we adopt in June is responsive to Californians needs and demonstrates the progressive leadership California is known and respected for throughout the world. Rest assured we will continue to deliver and to act boldly in response to any regressive actions from Washington that may negatively impact our civil liberties, immigrant communities, healthcare, and environmental protections.

State Senator Nancy Skinner
Chair, Budget Subcommittee 5 (Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary)