Statement: Jean Ross on Passage of 2011-12 State Budget

The California Budget Project, a nonpartisan public policy research group, released the following statement from Executive Director Jean Ross today in response to the budget agreement approved by the Legislature last night:

“This is a very tough budget for families and communities across California. The new spending plan includes deep reductions to critical public programs and institutions. These cuts will make it more difficult for young Californians to get the college degree they need to get ahead in the job market, make it harder for kids and families to obtain basic health care, and scale back the social safety net at a time when the economy is still struggling.

“We applaud some components of this budget, such as efforts to rein in ineffective redevelopment agencies and improve collection of sales tax owed on purchases made online from out-of-state retailers, and the decision to drop the costly sale of state office buildings.

“Still, it is deeply disappointing that the approved budget does not reflect a balanced approach that combines additional revenues with spending reductions to move the budget toward balance. Unfortunately, this goal will likely prove elusive without a change to budget rules that allow a handful of legislators to block passage of a spending plan that reflects the priorities of a majority of Californians. Our state must make the public investments needed to create a healthy private sector and promote broad-based economic opportunity.”