On Monday, June 27, 2016, the Governor signed SB 826, the 2016-17 Budget Act, and a number of trailer bills to implement policy changes in the budget. For the first time since the 1980’s, the Governor did not exercise his line-item veto authority to reduce or eliminate any of the budget appropriations passed by the Legislature.
The budget includes $122.5 billion in General Fund expenditures, $51.6 billion of which is slated for K-12 education programs. The budget prioritizes preparing for the next economic downturn, one of the Governor’s top priorities, by placing an extra $2 billion into the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the total fund balance to $6.7 billion. The budget also addresses one of the Legislature’s top priorities by including $400 million for affordable housing, tied to future regulatory reform, and authorizing development of a $2 billion bond program to address homelessness for individuals with mental health needs. Details of this program are still being negotiated.
On Friday, May 13, 2016, the Governor released his 2016-17 May Revision. We are currently reviewing the details concerning school facilities. In the press conference, the Governor was asked if he opposed the State School Bond, Governor Brown stated that he did not support or oppose the measure, and could deal with its costs if it was approved. This is consistent with his January 2016 statements concerning his position on the State School Bond.
State Budget 2016-17: No School Bond or New School Facilities Proposal
Today, the Governor released his 2016-17 State Budget, which does not include a proposal for a school bond, and which restates his previous proposals on K-12 school facilities that were included in his last three State Budgets. The Governor also references the Californians for Quality Schools (CQS) initiative, objecting to the fact that it does not make changes to the existing School Facility Program (SFP), and that it would add an additional $500 million in General Fund debt service; however, when asked directly if he supported the CQS initiative in his press conference, he stopped short of opposing it. Continue reading →