Gov. Jerry Brown | Gov. Brown’s 2018-19 Budget Proposal
Keeping the state on a path to long-term fiscal stability, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proposed a $131.7 billion General Fund budget plan for 2018-19 that fills the state’s Rainy Day Fund to its constitutional target, fully implements the state’s K-12 school funding formula two years ahead of schedule and provides $4.6 billion for the first year of a 10-year transportation improvement plan.
“California has faced 10 recessions since World War II and we must prepare for the 11th. Yes, we have had some very good years and program spending has increased steadily,” said Governor Brown in his budget letter to the Legislature. “Let’s not blow it now.”
In stark contrast to the $27 billion budget gap of 2011, the 2018 fiscal plan reflects a healthy one-time surplus and increases funding for education, healthcare and other core priorities.
But with growing uncertainty about the impacts of new federal policies, combined with a longer-than-average economic expansion, the budget continues to bank higher revenues into reserves and pay down debts and liabilities.
Significant details of the Governor’s 2018-19 State Budget include:
Filling the Rainy Day Fund
The budget proposes a $3.5 billion supplemental payment in addition to the constitutionally required transfer to the Rainy Day Fund for 2018-19. The two payments would bring the total Rainy Day Fund to $13.5 billion.
More Funds – and More Equitable Funding – for Education
To improve student achievement and transparency, the budget proposes requiring school districts to create a link between their local accountability plans and their budgets to show how this increased funding is being spent.
The minimum guarantee of funding for K-14 schools in 2007-08 was $56.6 billion and dropped to $47.3 billion in 2011-12 at the peak of the state budget crisis. From this recent low, funding has grown substantially and is projected to grow to $78.3 billion in 2018-19 – an increase of $31 billion (66 percent) in seven years.
For K-12 schools, 2018-19 funding levels will increase by about $4,600 per student above 2011-12 levels.
Increased Higher Education Spending
The budget proposes a total increase of $570 million (4 percent) for community colleges, including a new funding formula that encourages colleges to enroll underrepresented students and rewards colleges for improving students’ success in obtaining degrees and certificates. As the new formula is implemented, no district will receive less funding than currently provided.
Included in the community colleges budget increase is $46 million for the first year of implementation for Assembly Bill 19, which allows colleges to waive tuition for first-time, full-time students.
Additionally, the budget again increases state support for the University of California and the California State University by 3 percent. Since the end of the Great Recession, the University of California has received $1.2 billion in new funding and the California State University (CSU) has received $1.6 billion.
Over the same time period, funding for state financial aid that primarily supports low-income and first-generation students has increased by $623 million to a total of $2.3 billion.
Given these funding increases, the budget reflects flat tuition and expects the universities and community colleges to continue to improve their students’ success. With no tuition increases this year, university tuition, adjusted for inflation, will be below 2011-12 levels.
Continuing Health Care Expansion
Strengthening Transportation Infrastructure
• A focus on “fix-it-first” investments to repair neighborhood roads, state highways and bridges ($2.8 billion).
Paying Down Debts and Liabilities
Combating Climate Change
The full summary of the Governor’s budget proposal can be found at www.ebudget.ca.gov.(c) 2018 SCVTV