Statement: Jean Ross on the Legislative Analyst’s Office Forecast

November 11, 2010

In response to the forecast on the state’s long-term budget situation released Wednesday by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan public policy research group, released this statement:

“Wednesday’s forecast issued by the LAO  shows that California continues to face extremely severe fiscal challenges. The magnitude of future budget gaps reflects the continuing weakness of the state’s economy, the end of aid to states provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and recent budgets’ reliance upon one-time ‘solutions.’

The LAO’s report highlights the importance of true prison reform. Recent budget agreements have included appropriate reductions in prison spending, however the Legislature has failed to enact the policy changes needed to enable California to significantly reduce growth in corrections and achieve targeted savings.

It is also clear that California cannot continue to cut taxes for the state’s largest and most profitable corporations and balance its budgets. Every dollar lost to recent tax cuts reduces support for education and other public structures essential to the state’s economic future.

The new forecast underscores the importance of a balanced approach aimed at bringing the state’s budget into balance over a multi-year period. Policymakers should strive to do all they can to avoid yet another round of cuts to state services that would further weaken the economy and undermine the effectiveness of programs and services that Californians depend on.”

— Jean Ross


Jean Ross on the Legislative Analyst’s Office Forecast

November 18, 2009

In response to the forecast on the state’s long-term budget situation today by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan public policy research group, released this statement:

“Today’s forecast issued by the Legislative Analyst’s Office shows that California is not out of the woods and won’t be for some time. Although the recovery appears to be under way, the weak economy will continue to take a toll on the state’s General Fund in the near future. Funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have provided an economic boost and helped prevent even deeper cuts. But California’s budget shortfalls are certain to continue beyond the expiration of ARRA funds in 2010 and 2011. California, like many states, needs a second round of federal aid as we face record unemployment and continuing economic weakness.

Today’s forecast also increases the urgency for true prison reform. Earlier this year, the Legislature failed to enact sufficient policy changes to enable California to significantly reduce growth in corrections and meet a $1.2 billion savings target specified in the July budget agreement. California must significantly rein in its out-of-control prison spending.

It’s also clear that California cannot afford to subsidize the state’s largest and most profitable corporations through the tax cuts enacted in September 2008 and February of this year. The Legislature should repeal corporate tax cuts that were included in these budget agreements that could cost the state as much as $2.5 billion per year when fully implemented.

Policymakers should strive to do all they can to avoid yet another round of cuts to state services that would further weaken the economy and undermine the effectiveness of programs and services that Californians depend on.”

— California Budget Project

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