Assemblymember Kristin Olsen made a statement regarding Governor Brown’s recently proposed his 2015–16 Budget for the State that focuses on a variety of issues including healthcare and education, and addresses water and debt issues among others.
“Assembly Republicans stand ready to work with Governor Brown on policies that will improve California’s long-term fiscal health,” said Olsen.
The budget gives billions more in funding to schools and health care coverage, holds college tuition flat, water projects, fiscal savings, and seeks to address issues like debt, infrastructure, retiree health care and climate change.
“I was pleased to see the Governor focus on paying down costly debt and building a strong Rainy Day Fund reserve,” said Olsen. “However, I am disappointed that his budget does not include a plan for economic growth.”
Olsen stated that jobs and the economy must be prioritized to generate necessary revenue for school and infrastructure funding now and in the future.
In State K-12 schools, funding levels will increase by more than $2,600 per student in 2015-16 over levels from 2011-12. These measures will seek to mitigate inequities in school district funding with the Local Control Funding Formula implementation, adopted in 2013-14.
Previously, funding was expected to be $47 billion in the upcoming year, but with the new formula, will provide $50.7 billion.
The Governor’s most recent budget gives $762 million to both the California State University and University of California systems on the condition that tuition remains flat as a result of voter-approved Proposition 30.
“Republicans will fight hard to ensure the voter-approved education tax is spent how they intended – on making college accessible and affordable for California students,” said Olsen.
Olsen stated support for the prioritization of education in the state budget, but argued that increases in funding should be tied to reforms that that ensure high-quality education.
“We need to dedicate resources toward fixing the problems that continue to place us at the bottom of education outcomes nationwide,” said Olsen.
Olsen, who recently introduced measures to increase transparency in the State Legislature, argued in favor of a budget process that is more visible to the public.
“We must make our budget process more open so Californians can have a say in how their tax dollars are being spent.”