Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) is offering a budget solution that eliminates the need for education trigger cuts and tax increases. The solutions, supported by the Senate and Assembly Republican Caucuses, provide at least $3.4 billion to K-14 and the UC and CSU systems.
“There is an alternative to holding our state, our teachers and students’ hostage to another tax increase,” said Senator Huff. “Teachers should not have to spend months worrying if they will have a job next year and we shouldn’t let Californians believe there are only two options when it comes to the budget crisis: billions in new taxes or harmful education cuts.”
Senator Huff and other Republican leaders provided educational funding solutions earlier today during a news conference and sent a letter to the Governor and the Democratic leaders outlining this plan. The letter states in part: “The state budget is a reflection of priorities and there is no reason to hold our schools hostage to the uncertainties of the proposed tax increase initiative that may not benefit our students. With political will, we can work together in a bipartisan manner to ensure that our schools are protected from trigger cuts, whether the Governor's tax initiative is ultimately accepted or rejected by the voters.”
The proposal by Senator Huff and other Republican leaders include:
Hold schools harmless: Ensure school’s programmatic funding levels are not reduced and allow schools to get all the money they are entitled to under existing law.
Dedicate increased revenue to schools: State revenues are projected to grow without tax hikes and there are anticipated tax windfalls (Facebook IPO) that can be dedicated to schools.
Streamline government and halt unnecessary spending: Make existing programs more efficient by eliminating unnecessary and non-critical new spending.
Continue to utilize prior viable budget solutions: Solutions that worked well in previous state budgets can be used again.
Forecasts issued by both the Legislative Analyst’s Office and the Department of Finance indicate that state tax revenue will grow next year by several billion dollars, even without future tax increases. Senate and Assembly Republicans believe this growth in state revenue should mean that schools get the same level of programmatic funding they got this year.
“The solutions proposed by Senate and Assembly Republicans will provide $4.4 billion in total savings, and eliminate the need for education trigger cuts,” said Senator Huff. “We are hopeful that Governor and Democrats will come to the realization that we need to protect our teachers and students.”