Little cuts could mean big problems
by Brian Leubitz
The Legislature cheered the Amazon deal, after all they were hardly in the mood to fight it out with one of the nation’s largest tech companies. I mean, after all, we can’t offend corporations, can we? But that little deal cost the state around $200 million in this budget. Not the biggest concern in an 80-something billion budget, but certainly not good news.
But the bigger question is what happens if somebody pulls the thread on Prop 98’s school funding requirements? We are underfunding K-12 by billions of dollars, and would you trust this state to pay up later? And does that really make up for it anyway? You can’t redo first grade five years later.
Well, consider the string pulled several times:
California’s budget, already on shaky footing with tax revenues coming in lower than forecast, was hit with three new problems Wednesday when advocates for public schools, the developmentally disabled and cities filed separate lawsuits challenging the spending plan.
The California School Boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators and three school districts claim the budget shortchanges schools by $2.1 billion, while service providers for people with developmental disabilities argue that a $91 million cut runs afoul of federal and state mandates.
The League of California Cities filed a suit challenging a shift of $130 million in vehicle license fee money from cities to counties to pay for realignment, the criminal justice overhaul engineered by the governor to reduce the prison population. (SF Chronicle)
Now, there is still a long way to go on this, and the AG’s office is defending the budget in court. The question now is if any of these succeeds, most importantly the education funding suit, does the rest of the budget explode?
Oh, yeah, there’s one other thing, we’re definitely on track to get nowhere near the revenue Gov. Brown anticipated for the triggered cuts. The trigger looks to be cocked.