Campbell (R-Irvine) is a California State Senator representing
the 35th District
in Orange County. He represents the cities of Newport
Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach
and Cypress. He can be reached through his Senate website
and through the website
for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]
Governor's Budget Revision Unveiled
[John Campbell] 5/16/05
there is no significance to the fact that the Governor's so-called "May Revision Budget Proposal" was announced
on Friday the 13th. (At least, I don't think the Governor ever
played Jason in any of the Friday the 13th movies…)
Anyway, the news on
the revenue front has been good lately. Revenues – primarily driven by the income tax – were
about $1.5 billion more than expected for the last year. This
means that there is about $3 billion more money available than
was originally budgeted. In my view, we should be using all of
this money to reduce future deficits by paying down debts that
come due next year or the year after and establishing a prudent
reserve. If we spend any of the money, it should only be on one-time
expenditures like building roads. Back in 1999 and 2000, the
Davis administration spent all the "extra" revenue
we had in those years for ongoing programs and spending which
is what created our persistent budget problem in the first place.
If we are to ever get out of this thing, we need to be using
this money to reduce continuing obligations, not increase them.
So, what did the Governor
propose to do with this "new" money?
Here are some of the main "headlines" from the budget
proposal released today:
- Restore $1.3 billion in road and highway construction money
that had been suspended in prior years. This is a one-time
expenditure, so it is fine from a budget standpoint.
- He is
saving $1.4 billion in a reserve. This is a good thing.
is paying off early $600 million in debts to local governments.
This will reduce future deficits.
- He is putting $300
million into class size reduction and teacher "combat
pay" for low-performing schools. Overall, the Governor
reports that California will spend more on schools than ever
before in our history.
So, what's the bottom line here? The
Governor's efforts to take the government's foot off the
brake of our economy (through
worker's comp and other reforms) is showing some success
with greatly increased revenues. Therefore, hopefully you will
hear that we are cutting anything, because spending has in
fact increased a bit during the two years of the Schwarzenegger
A Look Toward the Future
The Governor is saving some of this
money and spending some on one-time things and some on on-going
things. However, even though this year will be fine, we still
have a budget deficit next year of $4 billion.
I would have preferred
that we used all or almost all of this "extra" money
to pay down debt or reduce future deficits.
As for tomorrow, you can probably expect to hear the special
interests treating the Governor as if he is Jason from Friday
the 13th, slashing and burning everything in sight, which is
far from the truth.
The Governor has offered
up a reasonable "middle ground" budget.
We should fight to not let spending grow from here.CRO