What they’re saying about Brown’s budget plan

I’ll be adding to this as the day goes on.

From Service Employees International Union California Executive Director David Kieffer:

“It’s time to stop playing games in California and get serious about a balanced approach to solving our budget crisis.

“Our state will not survive and recover if we do not come together to solve our problems. We cannot afford another year of gridlock and partisanship like we’ve seen in recent years. Instead, we need a cooperative effort on both sides of the aisle to restore the greatness of our state.

“Our top priority should be to restart job growth, but that will require that we get our state budget mess fixed. Doing so will be painful, and the sacrifices should be shared by all.

“Governor Brown’s budget proposal is a good start. It is balanced, and he even proposes to cut his own office. Every branch of government should follow his example.

“While we support the Governor’s balanced approach, it’s far from perfect. We will advocate for improvements to this budget so that it better reflects California’s values. We must pass a budget that ensures that frail seniors and people with disabilities aren’t put in harm’s way; that struggling families get the help they need to eat and pay the rent; and that our schools, colleges and universities stay strong.

“Moving control of services from Sacramento to the communities where they are used makes tremendous sense, but only if the services are funded and maintained. Realigning services will also give us the opportunity to find ways to improve public services to deliver more value to California.

“We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature to move California forward through this difficult time, help position California for recovery and job creation, and rebuild the things that have made California’s economy and communities thrive: our schools, colleges, healthcare, and infrastructure.”

From Republican activist Stephen Frank, publisher of California Political News & Views:

“His ‘budget’ is $84 billion–that is ONLY if we agree to keep high taxes. In an Arnold special election the people said NO to higher taxes. In November, 2010 the voters said NO to higher taxes. Now he is trying to use blackmail to get us to keep high taxes. When that fails, he creates a $10 billion addition to the deficit. Also, note his budget does not include money to pay for the approximate $10 billion in lawsuits the State has lost and the lawsuits it will lose this year, in this budget. In fact, he has built in at least $20 billion in ADDITIONAL deficits.

“Maybe the most immoral part of his ‘budget’ is his desire to cut employees pay by up to 10%; but, only those who do not pay bribes to unions to work. Non union people get cut; workers who pay bribes are allowed to keep their pay in tact. Punishing people for being honest and rewarding those forced to pay bribes. Then, again, we all knew he is owned by the unions.

“Jerry Brown can not be seen today due to all the smoke and mirrors around him. Dishonest budgeting is the proper term for his effort to punish Californians for the out of control government left behind by Arnold and the Sacramento Democrats. As Nancy Reagan would say, this time about the taxes, ‘Just Say NO.’”

From California Partnership Executive Director Nancy Berlin:

“These are indeed tough times, but if we’re going to get serious about California’s recovery, then we need to get serious about raising revenues, and that means putting all revenue options on the table.”

“We applaud Governor Brown’s first step to propose extending last year’s temporary revenue sources – including the Vehicle License Fee, income tax and sales tax increases, as well as the proposed elimination of the highly discredited and ineffective ‘enterprise zone tax credit. But now we need the Legislature to push harder, and bring in the revenues California so desperately needs.”

From Californians Against Higher Taxes:

“Californians Against Higher Taxes will analyze all proposals for revenue enhancements to determine if they have an adverse impact on California’s economic recovery and the creation of jobs. The Coalition looks forward to working with the legislature and the administration to ensure that any budget solutions that increase state revenues are not detrimental to private sector job creation.

“Additionally, we appreciate the Administration’s proposals to seek either a two-thirds vote of the legislature–in keeping with the language of prop 25–or a vote of the people to increase revenue.”

Read more, after the jump…

From state Treasurer Bill Lockyer:

“The Governor’s proposal is realistic and provocative. The plan acknowledges that a balanced remedy of spending reductions and revenues is the best cure, that we would do more harm to our economy and families if we set fire to government, or treated taxpayers like ATMs. And it provokes a necessary discussion about how much responsibility and accountability for public services should reside in our communities.

“To prevent further damage to the State’s credit rating and start restoring California’s reputation, action by the Legislature and Governor must be timely and credible. It’s time narrow interests took a back seat to California’s interests.”

From state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento:

“The Governor’s proposed budget is complete and it is balanced.

“His budget asks the Legislature and the public to make some of the most difficult choices we have ever been asked to make.

“But as unappealing and painful as the Governor’s proposed budget is, the only thing worse is to allow this fiscal crisis to linger.

“Its continued domination of our energy, time, and attention prevents our state from focusing on the myriad of positive opportunities to create a 21st century education system, a high wage clean energy economy, and building strength in our regions and local communities.

“I appreciate the seriousness with which the Governor has developed his budget proposals and I have committed to him that the Senate will begin reviewing his proposals immediately.

“The Senate is ready to get to work on solving this budget crisis—now.

“In fact, I have asked Senator Leno to convene a meeting of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee this Thursday to begin reviewing the Governor’s specific proposals.

“While our review this year may be truncated in terms of calendar days, it will be rigorous, with a purposeful determination to develop serious solutions for serious times.

“And while the choices we face are difficult, our review will ensure that the budget we enact this year protects as much as possible for those in need, lays the groundwork for sustained economic growth, and preserves and expands job opportunities for Californians.”

From state Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco:

“We are facing a budget crisis of epic proportion, and Governor Brown’s proposal reflects that sobering fact. I am committed to working with the Governor, my colleagues in the Legislature and the people of California to resolve our fiscal emergency. As we give careful consideration to each of the governor’s ideas, we recognize that difficult cuts have to be made in a way that spares the pain and suffering of our most vulnerable citizens. In order to prevent the worsening of our fiscal situation in the next few months, it is also critical to consider new revenue and thoughtful tax reform and ask voters to weigh in on what they want from their government and how to pay for it. It will take bold leadership to make the needed systemic changes, find additional resources and make targeted cuts to help heal California’s budget, stimulate our economy, create new jobs and restore luster to our great state.”

From California Federation of Teachers President Marty Hittelman:

“The proposed State Budget continues to threaten the future of California by reducing our investment in public education and the students who will lead our state in the coming years. We recognize that Governor Brown inherited a dreadful state fiscal situation, and applaud his honest attempt to cast aside gimmicks and smokescreens. This is the right thing to do for our long-term fiscal health and integrity of the State but we must also make sure that cuts that are destructive to our future are not made. At least $4.3 billion more will be cut from education in the coming year, on top of $18 billion in cuts over the past few years. In addition to the state’s lack of investment, our schools will lose $3 billion in federal funding.”

“California students are being denied the individual attention they need to succeed. More than 30,000 educators, including a large number of counselors and librarians, have been laid off in the past two years, while more than 10,000 school support staff have lost their jobs; students have less adult supervision and fewer resources to help them learn and stay in school.

“We hold out hope that the people of California will reaffirm their commitment to funding public education in a June special election. We look forward to working with the governor and public education supporters to make the case that our students deserve a fair chance to receive a first-class education, and persuading voters to extend the temporary tax increases that are shoring up education funding. This will begin to hold the line on further massive cuts, but it is not enough to regain the services Californians need and deserve. It is a reasonable first step.”

From Lydia Missaelides, Executive Director of the California Association for Adult Day Services:

“We are disappointed but not surprised that Gov. Brown’s budget eliminates the Medi-Cal Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) program. Over the last two years, Gov. Schwarzenegger also proposed elimination of the ADHC program, and both years the Legislature wisely rejected the idea as unacceptable, because of the severe cost shift to the state’s taxpayers and its cost in human suffering.

“The patients served by ADHC programs are determined by the state to need ongoing medical care. If these patients do not get that care in an ADHC program, they are going to be shifted from their home to a nursing home or hospital, at a minimum of five times the cost. The state pays only $38 a day for ADHC centers to provide medical and therapeutic care that keeps 37,000 medically frail or disabled seniors at home and in their communities rather than in institutional care.

“While we understand California is in a fiscal crisis, cutting ADHC does nothing to solve the problem, in fact it makes it worse. Given that half of the funding for ADHC comes from the federal government, this proposal cuts twice as deep, costing the state more than it will save.

“Not only is ADHC a bargain for taxpayers, elimination will embroil the state in costly lawsuits for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Cutting ADHC is completely nonsensical. We have fought these cuts the last two years, and we will fight them again this year — for the elderly, for the disabled, and for the California taxpayer.”

From Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy state director for the Drug Policy Alliance:

“Governor Brown set an important tone today and made it clear that our expensive state prisons should be reserved for people convicted of serious offenses, not for everyone who’s ever made a mistake. California is expected to save $500 million a year by handling more petty offenses, including low-level drug possession, at the county level. We think the savings would be even greater if drug treatment were made more available in the community. Under the plan, counties would have that option.

“What Governor Brown presented today was a plan to work with counties to develop and implement long-fought-for systemic changes to corrections in this state. We’re eager to see this realignment come with resources so that local governments have what they need to implement sound public safety policies and programs. Investing in drug treatment makes good public safety and economic sense. We look forward to working with Sacramento to implement these reforms in a financially sustainable way.”

From Health Access California Executive Director Anthony Wright:

“If we don’t find additional revenues to prevent them, these cuts will harm the health of individual families, our health system on which we all rely, and our attempts at economic recovery. At a time when millions are looking for relief, these cuts will deny medically necessary care, place greater financial strain on families, and turn back hundreds of millions of dollars in federal matching funds for our economy.”

“While we appreciate Governor Brown seeking revenues to prevent even worse cuts, it’s hard to overstate the severity of health cuts in the budget that will be felt directly by over eight million Californians, and for all of us who want our health system to be there for us when we need it.”

“California children and families, seniors and people with disabilities will find their prescriptions and doctor visits limited, their coverage for certain treatments capped, additional difficulty in finding a doctor or provider, and significant costs for getting doctor and hospital care. The sickest Californians will have the number of doctor visits and prescriptions arbitrarily capped–and when their coverage runs out, there will be real consequences for people’s health.”

From Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo:

“Gov. Brown has proposed the first honest budget in years. While it includes painful cuts, the governor is committed to fully funding K-12 education if voters agree to maintain our current tax structure.

“Both parties have a responsibility to end their bickering and work with the governor to help California climb out of the deepest recession of our lifetime.

“The governor’s proposal to move more government services from the state to local control is worthy of consideration. I am particularly heartened that he has vowed to provide state funding to run those services.

“I will be meeting with local governments in my district during the coming days to discuss the governor’s budget proposal. I also welcome input from residents of the 19th Assembly District as we proceed through the budget process by contacting me online at www.asm.ca.gov/hill.”

From Books Not Bars Director Sumayyah Waheed:

“In 2004, we set out to transform California’s juvenile justice system to invest in youth, their families, and communities. DJJ youth prisons are not just abusive — they’re a budget sinkhole. By shuttering the decrepit warehouses, Governor Brown signals that California is ready to do right by youth, and do right by taxpayers.”

From California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:

“Today’s budget proposal underscores the seriousness of California’s ongoing economic crisis. While Gov. Brown’s proposal isn’t perfect, it at least strikes a much-needed balance between cuts and revenues. Our state simply can’t sustain a cuts-only budget if we’re to have any hope of emerging from the current economic morass.

“While the proposed cuts are certain to inflict greater pain on those least able to endure it in this harsh economic environment, we’re hopeful that Gov. Brown’s balanced solution to the budget crisis signals a willingness to look at all options. It’s a good sign that he’s making an effort to engage the public so deeply and openly in this process.

“We’re encouraged by Brown’s proposal to eliminate costly corporate tax giveaways that are bleeding the state of billions of dollars without producing any economic benefits. All solutions to generate revenue for our cash-starved state should be on the table. Brown’s budget also spares education funding deep cuts that would hurt our kids and further erode hope of economic recovery.

“Today’s budget proposal is merely the opening salvo in what is sure to be an important public debate about the direction of our state. The California labor movement looks forward to contributing to that debate, forcefully advocating for protecting the vital services that our state’s working families depend upon.”

From United Long Term Care Workers’ Union President Laphonza Butler:

“We are, of course, disappointed with the Governor’s proposal of nearly $500 million in cuts to the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, and have grave concerns about the hardship that these cuts would impose on the 440,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities who rely on the IHSS program to live safely at home.

“The 8.4 percent proposed reduction of IHSS hours to all recipients, in addition to last year’s 3.6 percent cuts, as well as the elimination of all domestic care services for certain recipients will result in countless lives being placed in danger. For these individuals, some of the most vulnerable citizens in our state, every hour of care they receive is a vital hour that they can’t afford to lose. For caregivers, these cuts mean fewer hours of work, possible loss of healthcare benefits, and the potential for job loss at a time when the state’s unemployment rates are already at historic highs.

“We understand that the budget crisis in California is serious, and did not expect that our state’s fiscal problems would go away with the election of Jerry Brown as Governor. We are hopeful, however, that the Governor will continue to discuss and explore solutions to the funding problems through meetings with representatives from all over California, including consumer organizations, elected officials, provider representatives, and other interested parties. We are confident that further discussions would yield solutions that could protect lifeline services like IHSS.

“As we seek these solutions we must keep in mind that home care saves lives while saving California taxpayers money. IHSS, a nearly 40-year old program that was signed into law by former Governor Ronald Reagan, is a budget solution.”

From state Controller John Chiang:

“Governor Brown has proposed some ugly solutions to an even uglier situation, but history has shown that surrendering to gimmicks and delay only makes our problems multiply. It is a refreshing departure from past schemes that too often sacrificed long-term fiscal stability for band-aid solutions. While more work is required, this plan is an honest first step toward building consensus on how to best shape California’s future.”

From state Senate Budget Committee Vice Chair Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar:

“This budget, while a step in the right direction, still has a long way to go. There’s a $10 billion hole in this plan because Senate Republicans don’t believe voters will pass a five year extension of the temporary tax hikes as envisioned by the Governor.

“California voters have shown no appetite for new taxes. They’ve been asked twice to raise taxes in the last two years, and rejected each attempt. First was the ballot measure to extend the temporary tax hikes by two years, and just last November the voters rejected an increase in the car tax for state parks.

“So, we don’t think that voters will approve of the idea, which is why we’re calling on both the Governor and the Majority Party to look at real, honest and permanent solutions that will reduce the size of state government and to live within the tax dollars already entrusted to us.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.