2015 Governor Brown Budget Overview
The 2015 Budget Act pays down debt and saves for a rainy day as it implements the first year of Proposition 2. In addition, it increases spending on education, health care, In‑Home Supportive Services, workforce development, drought assistance and the judiciary. It establishes the state’s first Earned Income Tax Credit to help the state’s poorest working families and an amnesty program that will help many Californians pay past due court‑ordered debt and regain their drivers’ licenses. Despite stronger revenues compared to a year ago, the budget remains precariously balanced. The state also continues to have hundreds of billions of dollars in liabilities for deferred maintenance on its aging infrastructure and for retiree health care benefits for state employees and various pension benefits. In response, the Budget includes $125 million to address the most critical deferred maintenance and establishes a trust fund for the prefunding of retiree health benefits. The Governor has called special sessions to continue work on two key fiscal issues—how to fund (1) improved maintenance of roads, highways and other infrastructure, and (2) the state’s health care delivery system. In addition, an expenditure plan for Cap and Trade revenues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change will also be completed later in the legislative session.