SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s attorney general told state lawmakers on Thursday that he needs more money if he is going to continue fighting President Donald Trump’s proposals.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s current budget was passed before Trump became president last year. He said he’s had to juggle his budget to combat the Republican administration’s proposals on immigration, the environment, women’s rights and other issues.
“Protecting and defending California families in this new environment takes a lot more effort,” he told members of a Senate budget subcommittee. “I had to pull resources from wherever possible to respond to the federal administration’s actions.”
He’s also upset that the budget proposed in January by Becerra’s fellow Democrat, Gov. Jerry Brown, cuts his discretionary money by $6 million, or nearly 3 percent. About a quarter of his $858 million proposed budget comes from that general fund, while the rest comes from fees on things like the sale of firearms and is locked up in supporting related programs.
Overall, Brown’s January proposal would increase Becerra’s budget by $33 million, or 4 percent. Brown will release his revised budget proposal next week. Lawmakers then have a month to pass the spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
“To put it simply, we can’t execute if we don’t have the resources to do it,” Becerra said, though he did not say how much more money he needs.
He took office in January, succeeding Kamala Harris after she was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Brown’s budget office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine, the subcommittee’s lone Republican, said he’s reluctant to increase Becerra’s budget if the attorney general’s fight against the Trump administration costs the state federal funding.
“We’d be walking away from federal money,” Anderson said. “I don’t see why I’d want to backfill someone hell-bent on having their budget cut.”
Becerra said his department’s federal money comes from competitive grants or reimbursements for work the attorney general’s office does for the federal government and is not threatened by the California’s efforts to combat the Trump administration’s policies.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.