Schwarzenegger releases revised budget

first_img In January, the governor announced a revenue increase of $9.2 billion in tax receipts from the current fiscal year and projected new revenue in the coming budget year. Since then, administration officials have said they expected that revenue to rise by an additional $5 billion. Earlier in the week, Schwarzenegger announced a plan to spend the bulk of the windfall on education, in conjunction with a deal that also would settle a lawsuit and long-running feud with the state’s teachers union. Under that plan, Schwarzenegger proposed directing an additional $2.8 billion more to education than he initially proposed in January. The governor’s spending plan will lift overall education spending in California from $50 billion in the current year to $55.1 billion in the budget year beginning July 1. In addition, his settlement with the teachers union calls for repaying another $2.9 billion to schools over seven years that educators claimed he has owed since the two sides struck a budget-balancing deal in 2003. The governor’s finance director said the deal would be partially funded by “re-funding a tobacco securitization” deal from 2003 and would not add significantly to the state’s ongoing deficit. Schwarzenegger said that if his budget proposal is approved by the Legislature, education funding will have increase from $46 billion to more $55 billion since he took office.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday released a $131.1 billion state budget that benefits from a massive tax windfall this year, allowing him to spend more on public education and sock away money for reserves. The overall spending plan for the 2006-07 fiscal year is $13.8 billion higher than last year, reflecting the state’s rebounding economy and providing an expected boost to Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign. Billions in unanticipated tax revenue have enabled him to boost spending on programs popular with his critics, such as schools and children’s health care, while appeasing conservatives who have been critical of the state’s deficit spending. The governor’s plan increases general fund spending to $101 billion, from $90 billion in the current fiscal year. The balance of the spending goes to special funds and bond payments. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals Speaking at a press conference in Sacramento, Schwarzenegger vowed not to raise taxes and touted his spending plan as fiscally responsible. He said his proposed increases in education and health care spending reflect Californians’ priorities. The governor also proposes putting $2 billion into the state’s reserve fund and an additional $142.2 million into public safety programs. That money will more than double spending for law enforcement efforts targeting methamphetamine dealers, direct $50 million to reduce recidivism among mentally ill offenders and add about $21 million to programs aimed at reducing crime among at-risk youth. Schwarzenegger also wants to roll back a January proposal to block increases in welfare payments for the elderly and disabled, a plan Democrats had vowed to fight. The Legislature faces a June 15 deadline that it has failed to meet since 2000 to approve the budget, which takes effect July 1. The spending plan has benefited from unexpected tax revenue that has flowed into California’s coffers in recent months. The windfall primarily is a result of increased revenue from stock gains, home sales, business profits and taxes on rising gas prices.last_img read more