Well, there isn't much good news, really -- Gov. Jerry just announced another $1 billion in cuts , mostly to education and services for the disabled and poor. Check out the state's priorities: $429.6 million in cuts to education, $225 million in cuts to MediCal, In-Home Supportive Services and developmental services -- and a whopping $20 million in cuts to the prison system.
Supporters of K-12 education will walk away a little happier than they expected; the direct cuts (which could have meant losing an entire week of the school year) will amount to far less, only about $11 a student. But that doesn't include $248 million in cuts to state funding for school transportation, which a lot of district will have to absorb in other ways. In San Francisco, it's easier for kids in middle school and high school to take Muni; in more rural areas, school buses are a bigger deal.
Missing in a lot of the MSM coverage of the midyear cuts is the fact that the state is actually spending more money than expected. As Calitics points out, that's no surprise:
It turns out that during a bad economic period, people need more services, but in the current climate in Sacramento, getting the legislature to approve the revenues for those services is an impossible feat even for somebody with the experience of Jerry Brown.
But here's what's interesting. In his press conference, Brown noted that the bright spot on the state's fiscal front was increased money coming in from Prop. 63 -- a surtax on incomes of more than $1 million to pay for services for the mentally ill. Which means that there's additional money to be made by taxing the very rich.
And the voters seem more than willing to do just that.