Senator Dodd Comments on State Budget Passage
SACRAMENTO – Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, issued this statement Thursday in response to the passage of the state’s nearly $200 billion budget:
“The budget strikes a balance between meeting the most pressing needs of Californians and building our rainy day fund for a time when the economic outlook is not as bright as it is today,” Senator Dodd said. “It is fiscally responsible and uses no gimmicks to invest in critical areas like public education and infrastructure while making real progress toward other goals including bolstering our wildfire prevention. It is a solid base that we can build on over time.”
Highlights of the budget include:
The highest level of K-14 funding in state history at $78.4 billion. That represents a 66 percent increase over 2011-12. It includes a $3.6 billion increase to local control funding to help schools in the greatest need.
Improvements to keep college affordable and accessible. It adds $105 million in ongoing funds to the California State University system along with $155 million in one-time money, while devoting $185 million to the University of California to avoid tuition increases and pay for deferred maintenance.
Allocates $983 million for fire protection and mitigation, including anticipated greenhouse gas reduction funds; $25 million toward improving mutual aid with another $25 million expected to come from other sources; $29.1 million to cover the local share of debris removal in the North Bay and $21.8 million to backfill the loss of property taxes caused by the October wildfires. Also, includes three years of average daily attendance relief to school affected by the fires.
Provides $15.9 billion in total reserves, fulfilling a mandate from Californians after the last recession to end the boom and bust cycle of state revenue.
The budget was approved by Senate and Assembly on Thursday and heads to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.
“This is a prudent spending plan that gets us closer to our goals and will be sustainable in years to come,” Dodd said.