UPDATE: Brown Says Tax Hikes Needed For $16B Budget Gap
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13/AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing more than $8 billion in cuts to close a widening California budget deficit but also says public schools will receive more money if voters approve his tax-hike initiative in November.
Under the latest budget proposal, Brown wants public employees to take a 5 percent pay cut and he seeks cuts to health care and social services.
“There has to be a balance and a day of reckoning, and this is a kind of day of reckoning,” explained Brown.
WATCH: Governor Brown’s Press Conference on Budget Revision
Brown released his revised spending plan Monday for the fiscal year starting July 1, saying the state faces a $15.7 billion deficit. That is roughly 17 percent of its $91 billion general fund.
It also is far higher than the $9.2 billion gap Brown anticipated in January. The Democratic governor says the size of the deficit makes it virtually impossible to balance the budget with spending cuts alone.
If voters reject his tax initiative, Brown is proposing an automatic cut of $5.5 billion to K-12 schools and $250 million each to the California State University and University of California systems.
“If voters say no, then we’ll have those trigger cuts. It will be felt at UC, it will be felt at Cal State campuses and it will be felt in every school district in the state,” Brown said.
By comparison, public schools would see a 16 percent increase in funding if voters pass Brown’s initiative.
Just minutes after outlining his budget revision, the Women’s Foundation of California protested cuts during a rally on the Capitol steps.
The group chanted “Sacramento shame on you, it’s time to raise some revenue.”
The group is asking the governor and the legislature to stop making major cuts, and instead look for other sources of revenue.
The Women’s Foundation endorses the Governor’s tax initiative, but says the state can raise more revenue by closing tax loopholes, and forcing tax cheats to pay up.