Statement From Chris Hoene on the New LAO Forecast: “A Critical Opportunity”

November 20, 2013

In response to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) long-term fiscal forecast released today, Chris Hoene, executive director of the California Budget Project, released the following statement:

“The new forecast from the Legislative Analyst’s Office shows a vastly improved fiscal picture for California. And this is a critical opportunity.

“With so many Californians still reeling from the impact of the Great Recession, policymakers should strive to increase investment in people and communities. Fiscal prudence is important and should be a key element of any budget agreement. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of boosting support for local economies and for vital public services and systems, especially after the severe budget cuts of recent years. State policymakers should be careful about putting away too much for a rainy day when, for many Californians, it’s raining now.”

Statement: Chris Hoene on the Legislative Analyst’s Office Forecast

November 15, 2012

In response to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) long-term fiscal forecast released yesterday, Chris Hoene, executive director of the California Budget Project, released the following statement:

“The new LAO forecast shows that California is well positioned to turn the corner on a decade of severe budget challenges and begin reinvesting in areas that are critical to our state’s economy and to the health and general well-being of communities statewide. Due in part to the new revenues approved by California voters earlier this month, the state has an opportunity to restore balance to the budget and begin rebuilding its key public systems and programs.

“But even with this brighter outlook, it’s important to remember that many years of deep spending cuts have hit virtually all areas of the budget, from education to health care. With our state just starting to recover from the Great Recession and many families still feeling the effects of the downturn, we need to provide a strong safety net and ensure sufficient funding for key services and supports — such as child care — for individuals struggling to find and retain work.

“Moving forward, state policymakers should strive for budget decisions that permanently place the state on solid financial footing while also reinvesting in public systems that are essential to all Californians and to broadly shared economic growth.”

New CBP Analysis Provides Side-by-Side Comparison of Propositions 30 and 38

October 5, 2012

The political season is heating up, and once again the statewide ballot includes several measures that ask voters to weigh in on important state policy issues. Two of these measures, Proposition 30 and Proposition 38, would raise additional revenues through temporary tax increases, but differ significantly in their approaches as well as their implications for the state budget.

To help voters better understand Propositions 30 and 38, a new CBP analysis provides a side-by-side comparison of these measures. This easy-to-read table draws from the recent CBP reports, What Would Proposition 30 Mean for California? and What Would Proposition 38 Mean for California?, and aims to succinctly explain what each measure would do. As noted in our full reports, the CBP has endorsed Proposition 30 and neither supports nor opposes Proposition 38.

This side-by-side look at these measures sheds light on some notable strengths of Proposition 30. For example, the measure would raise almost four-fifths of the new revenues (78.8 percent) from the top 1 percent, a group whose average inflation-adjusted income has skyrocketed during the past generation, even while average incomes for low- and middle-income Californians have decreased. Furthermore ­– and most importantly – while Propositions 30 and 38 would both increase funding for K-12 schools, Proposition 30 also would provide the revenues needed to help close the state’s budget gap and stabilize the state’s finances. Proposition 30 thus would allow California to reinvest in education, while at the same time bringing the state budget into balance and avoiding deeper cuts to public programs and systems that are essential to all Californians.

– Jonathan Kaplan

What, When, Where: Making Sense of Potential Tax Initiatives

March 6, 2012

Exactly eight months from today, California voters may find themselves faced with a number of tax initiatives at the ballot box. What would be taxed under the various measures? When would each measure be in effect? Where would the revenues go? Answers to these and other questions can be found in a new CBP “side-by-side” that compares the three personal income tax measures that may be headed to the ballot in November. Also, an updated version of the CBP’s memo comparing these tax measures is available here.

— Samar Lichtenstein