Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, on Monday responded to the release of Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget plan, saying the announcement that the deficit is growing is the result of the majority party refusing to budget honestly or make cuts to government programs.
“While the Democrats made doomsday predictions of falling revenue, tax revenue actually grew by $4.9 billion last year, and is expected to grow by $5.1 billion this year, without tax increases,” Smyth said. “Unfortunately, those revenue gains are meaningless in the face of the majority’s unwillingness to prioritize spending.”
In announcing the revised May budget plan, Smyth said that the governor’s spending plan still assumes that General Fund spending will grow by 6.4 percent – or $5.5 billion – over last year’s adopted budget. He pointed out that tax revenue has actually grown over the past two years, despite the fact that tax rates dropped as a result of Republicans fighting to give Californians $1,000 in annual tax relief last year. Democrats relied on more than $4 billion in unrealistic revenue that didn’t materialize in last year’s majority vote budget.
Smyth said that protecting education and public safety funding and cutting government waste remained his top budget priorities. He said that in contrast, Democrats have already this year grown welfare spending by more than $1 billion, while targeting education for 99 percent of proposed trigger cuts.
“It’s unfortunate that education funding continues to be used as a scare tactic to drum up support for a massive tax increase,” said Smyth. “This really comes down to a question of priorities. Republicans have proposed a roadmap of $4 billion in alternative solutions to prevent classroom cuts, while Democrats would allocate nearly all of the trigger cuts to education funding.”
Smyth noted that in contrast to the governor and Democrats, he and Assembly Republicans have proposed budget solutions over the past two years that would enable the state to protect classroom dollars without raising taxes. Earlier this spring, Smyth and GOP lawmakers proposed a “Roadmap to Protect Classrooms and Taxpayers,” which encompasses $4.4 billion in options to prevent the Governor’s education trigger cuts without new taxes.