Brown Announces California Budget Cuts

About $1 billion in "trigger cuts" will go into effect

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011  |  Updated 7:10 PM PDT
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Governor Brown announced new budget cuts targeting education and social services.

Stephanie Elam

Governor Brown announced new budget cuts targeting education and social services.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown announced $1 billion in midyear cuts Tuesday to schools and social services.

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State revenues have fallen $2.2 billion below projections, triggering automatic midyear reductions to public schools, universities and colleges, Medi-Cal, and in-home support for seniors and the disabled, Brown said Tuesday. School districts around the state are faced with handling the shortfall.

Under a deal reached with Democrats during the summer, about $2.4 billion in automatic cuts would have been triggered. The figure announced Tuesday was less than expected.

"The trigger cuts are going into effect, but fortunately not the full $2.4 billion, but actually slightly less than a billion," Brown said. "They're not good. It's not the way we'd like to run California, but we have to live within our means."

Automatic midyear reductions to public schools, universities and colleges, Medi-Cal, and in-home support for seniors and the disabled, are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

The cuts drew reaction from students at an LA magnet school earlier Tuesday.

At 10 a.m., students at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet School walked out to protest the cuts, which could affect school busing programs. They marched four miles to LAUSD headquarters.

"It's a sad day for California," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement. "Mothballing school bus fleets across the state will mean many rural, disabled, and low-income students literally will have no safe way to get to school."

The governor is proposing a temporary tax hike on the wealthy and an increase in the sales tax to solve the state's budget issues. A Public Policy Institute poll showed that about 60 percent of likely voters support the plan.

"You can't provide money you don't have," the governor said Tuesday. "You either cut or you tax."

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