The Blog at CTA

Budget Panel Hears State Could Suffer $4B in Education Cuts without Income Tax Extension on Top 2%

Philip Ting

Assembly Member Philip Ting chairs the Wednesday meeting of the legislative budget committee, the “budget conferees.” (Screen capture courtesy of the California Channel.)

The ten-member panel working on a final state budget has begun meeting in the state Capitol.  The state Senators and Assembly Members are charged with producing one budget document from the separate budget bills approved by each house.

At the outset of the first hearing, which focuses on education spending including child care, the governor’s Department of Finance and the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office warned that their projections show the state running a multi-billion budget deficit if voters don’t approve an extension of the current income tax rates on the wealthiest 2% of Californians. Education could suffer more than $4 billion in cuts, hurtling public schools back into the devastated landscape created during the Great Recession.

That income tax extension is a key provision of the Children’s Education and Health Care Protection (CEHCP) Act that CTA and a coalition of public service organizations are seeking to qualify for the November 2016 election.

The ten “conferees” are Assembly Members Phil Ting, Chair; Richard Bloom; Lorena Gonzalez; Jay Obernolte; and Kristin Olsen and Senators Mark Leno, Vice Chair; Senator Ricardo Lara; Loni  Hancock; Jim Nielsen and Patricia Bates.

For public education, a number of key issues are being discussed, including local control funding formula appropriations, teacher recruitment and retention, student support, child care funding, and community college and higher education funding.

The conferees’ final report will go back to each house for a concurrence vote and then to the governor for his signature. The legislature has until June 15 to get the spending bill to the governor, who has until June 30 to sign it to take effect July 1.

For more information on the issue, read the Governmental Relations Division’s budget memo, CTA President Heins’ media statement and the talking points about the May Revision. 

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