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Just in Time: California Has a Budget

Last night, lawmakers approved an $86B package using spending cuts, tax revenues and new fees. Democratic lawmakers used their majority vote to fill in the remaining $9.6B deficit without renewals to state sales and vehicle taxes (set to expire Thursday). The end of these taxes will save the average Californian about $260 a year.

A series of related bills were passed to raise fees and shift prison system responsibilities to local governments. New revenue will come from a $12 increase in annual vehicle registration fees and a $150 annual fee on property owners in rural areas depending on wildfire protection. If the revenues do not reach the projected $4B, $2.5B in additional spending cuts will be made to schools, higher education and social services in the middle of the fiscal year. This includes:

  • Authorizing school districts to shorten the school year by seven days
  • Increasing community college fees
  • Cutting $100M more from IHSS
  • Cutting $250M from school bus transportation
  • Cutting $1.3B from UC and CSU systems

These cuts are in addition to the $14.6B in cuts agreed to in March.

Brown and Democrats say they plan on putting a tax measure on the November 2012 ballot in order to bypass the required Republican support.

Read more here.