Brown Calls For New Education Funding, Rainy Day Fund In Budget Proposal

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – A robust economic recovery and surging revenue propelled by voter-approved tax increases has sent California’s general fund spending to a record high, but Gov. Jerry Brown is pledging a somber approach to the windfall.

In introducing his budget proposal Thursday, the Democratic governor said beginning to pay down California’s massive “wall of debt” must be a priority.

“By no means are we out of the wilderness. We have serious issues before us in terms of long-term liabilities, debts and we must be very prudent in the way we spend public funds,” Brown said.

His budget proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year dedicates $11 billion to paying down debts and liabilities, including $6 billion in payments that had been deferred to schools.

Brown calls for $10 billion in new spending for k-12 schools, about $700 per student next year. He also wants to infuse both the University of California and California State University systems with an additional $2.9 billion each year.

The proposal also calls for an additional $670 million in spending for the Medi-Cal system.

He also sets aside $1.6 billion for a rainy day fund to protect against future downturns, saying “wisdom and prudence should be the order of the day.”

The record $106.8 billion general fund exceeds the spending level of just before the recession by more than $3 billion and is a nearly 9 percent increase over spending in the current fiscal year.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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